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IOM Seeks Irish Advice on E-commerce Security

24 October 1999

Assistance has been sought by the Isle of Man from the Irish-based leading IT security firm Baltimore Technologies to help the island understand how it can put itself among the front runners in the race to embrace e-commerce.

A delegation met with Baltimore Technologies in Dublin as part of an IOM Post Office Authority initiative and included Post Office chairman John Shimmin, Trade and Industry Minister David North as well as representatives from the Financial Supervision Commission, the Treasury, the DTI, Manx Telecom and Scottish Provident International.

They met with Baltimore's Leo Corcoran to discuss the Isle of Man's pending legislation regarding the use electronic signatures, which he described as a significant step, which would put the Island ahead of many other jurisdictions currently trying to attract e-commerce business.

The discussions focused on the current developments in Public Key Infrastructure, particularly the role of the Certification Authority (CA), which issues and revokes certificates, and the Route CA, where the hardware driving the security system is maintained.

Mr Corcoran also said it is likely that most northern European countries would favour a Public Key Infrastructure in which government agencies will not have direct key access to private information. Manx Telecom delegate Chris Hall also observed that paper documents can only be accessed by means of a court order, and the issue of confidentiality will be a major issue in the transfer of electronic information.

Baltimore's executive vice-president for marketing, Paddy Holahan, said the e-commerce industry was still in the development phase but urged the Isle of Man to come up with more practical measures: 'It's no longer enough to simply say you are working to embrace e-commerce. Many states are saying that and it's becoming boring. The Isle of Man is already ahead of many countries - probably in the top quarter - and it's attitude is very positive.'


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