01 October 1997

SELF-REGULATORY guidelines on how to conduct transactions securely over the Internet have been published by The International Chamber of Commerce - a move expected to give a real shot in the arm to electronic commerce. Dubbed GUIDEC (General Usage in International Digitally Ensured Commerce), the guidelines cover the use of digital ‘signatures’ to validate documents and the role of third parties to verify these signatures. More simply put: they establish procedures to 'ensure' messages, rendering them legally valid. This opens the way for many more companies or individuals to buy and sell goods and services over the Net without the need for supporting paperwork. The guidelines can be obtained from the ICC’s Website (