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    Egypt Institutes the Use of E-Signature

    Cairo, 24 February 2002
    In demonstration of Egypt’s commitment to encourage electronic commerce and e-government development, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) is collaborating closely with several concerned ministries in the implementation of a range of projects which aim at creating the requisite supporting environment. Particularly important among such projects and an ingredient of the MCIT’s National plan, is the issuance of Egypt’s first E-Signature Act. The relevant draft is currently being finally revised by the Legislation Dept. at the Ministry of Justice, to be later debated in the Parliament. Egypt’s E-signature Act has the objective of ensuring that electronic signatures and documents are legally valid and equivalent to paper documents and signatures. Records that are protected by current legislation continue to be protected just as electronic records. For e-signatures or e-documents the new Act will provide that: § Legal validity of the e-signature refers only to the signatory; § Only the signatory is in control of the electronic agent; § It is possible to reveal changes in the e-document or the e-signature. The new Act addresses the authorities issuing electronic legalizations and manner of conducting the practice. Moreover the Act addresses the question of authentication of electronic legalization issued from foreign agencies/authorities, penalties in cases of the use of forged signatures or abuse of an e-agent or in destroying e-signatures or disclosure of confidential data or the unlawful use of secured data. MCIT currently is studying various projects to complement the Act which further serve e-commerce and spread its use in other areas such as e-contracts, e-payment, and internet transactions. Other pipeline law projects concerning privacy, securing data, taxes, and customs as related to e-commerce will soon be in support of the Act.





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