Dreier Praises House For Passing Crucial "E-Sign" Bill to Allow Increased Consumer Use of Internet Commerce

Dreier Praises House For Passing Crucial "E-Sign" Bill to Allow Increased Consumer Use of Internet Commerce

WASHINGTON - Heralding it as "one of the most important steps on the way to the 21st Century information economy," Congressman David Dreier (R-CA), Chairman of the House Rules Committee, today helped lead the House to overwhelmingly approve legislation providing for a nationwide electronic signature standard designed to remove barriers to the expansion of online commerce.

The "Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce," H.R. 1714, which passed 356 to 66, promotes the acceptance and use of electronic signatures in the national and international commercial marketplace by establishing a uniform national standard for electronic signatures and records. With such standards in place, a framework for competition in the emerging electronic marketplace can be developed.

"The promise of electronic commerce will never be fully realized without the establishment of a clear, uniform national framework governing both digital signatures and records," said Dreier, who as Rules Chairman helped guide the process whereby the bill passed by such a large margin. "Internet, networking and communications technology, and the expansion of computer memory and storage capabilities are changing the way we work, the way we are educated, the way we are governed, and the way we do business world-wide."

"Enactment of this E-SIGN bill will help to bring this country into the 21st Century by making it easier for people using just a computer and a modem to pay their bills, trade securities, and purchase goods and services without ever leaving the confines of their homes," Dreier said, noting that:

  • electronic signatures on digital documents assure a document's origin and authentication through digital codes, while ensuring that an online contract or agreement has legal effect;
  • the bill does not mandate a particular type of authentication or which businesses should offer these services, leaving such decisions to the marketplace;
  • the bill is designed to prohibit states from discriminating in favor of a specific type of electronic technology; and,
  • the bill contains important consumer protections, such as the right to affirmatively consent to receiving documents in electronic format.