Project to Secure E-Transactions to be Implemented this Year

The Government of Jamaica’s Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) project, which is designed to secure commercial transactions over the internet, is scheduled to be implemented later this year.
The project, which is being developed in collaboration with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), provides a platform for identity management and will be operated under the laws of Jamaica.
“The PKI is a feature for countries that are actively engaged in trading on the internet,” said Industry, Technology, Energy and Commerce Minister, Phillip Paulwell, at a press conference held today (April 17) at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.
The system enables secure e-government and e-commerce transactions by allowing persons to identify themselves once to a certifying authority, which will then vouch for that person’s identity when they interact with other entities within the same domain.
According to Mr. Paulwell, the PKI “was developed to enable greater confidence in persons, who are involved in doing business over the internet. What we are trying to do is to ensure that we have the appropriate infrastructure to issue electronic signatures.”
As it is a certifying authority, the PKI, the Commerce Minister said, “will be able to authenticate those businesses that are engaged in doing internet trading so that if somebody were to enquire, we can legitimize or certainly give credence to that person who is involved in business.”
In the meantime, Dr. Hamadoun Toure, Secretary-General of the ITU, said “one of the challenges when you are doing electronic transactions is to have first recognition of your signature as your own, and secondly to secure that signature so that it would not be misused.”
“In the conventional world, when you are signing an agreement, you sign on the original documents and it could be safeguarded somewhere, but in the electronic world, it can be put in places where you may not have access to it, and somebody else could have access and misuse it. Therefore, we developed a standard of protection, we call it the PKI to ensure that there is safety,” said Dr. Toure.
He noted that safety is a major problem on the web and the ITU is working with all nations to ensure that “we put in place a good framework, not only legal framework, but also infrastructure and organisational framework.”

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