AnchorDesk hypes DSIG for us...

Rohit Khare (
Fri, 20 Dec 1996 05:32:16 -0500

[We've already seen the news articles, but this is the first "opinion"

Why the Internet Is About to Grow Up (And What You Should Do Now)

Jesse Berst, Editorial Director
ZD Net AnchorDesk
Friday, December 20, 1996

Lately, the Internet reminds me of a teenager itching to move out of the
house. It's at an awkward stage. Mature enough to see the possibilities.
But still not quite grown up enough to seize them.=20

You're about to see the Internet emancipated.=20

The industry is close to adopting digital signature standards, which
promise to transform the way you conduct business. A digital signature
links a user's identity to a particular document, allowing you to verify
its authenticity over the Internet. In other words, to know for sure it
came from the person who signed it. Enabling secure stock trades. Safe
software transfers. Mature electronic commerce. Grown-up banking (see Wel=
Fargo announcement linked at left).=20

Digital signatures are a must for the Internet to move to the next level.
Many major Internet software companies=97including Microsoft, Netscape, I=
and Sun Microsystems=97are developing authenticity technologies. Yet, onl=
y 1%
of Web sites are equipped to offer secure transactions today. The hold up=
As usual, a dispute over the standard.=20

The Net can not grow up as long as there are conflicting signature
standards. Imagine if, in real life, you had to carry 22 pieces of pictur=
ID, a set of fingerprints, your birth certificate, and a note from your m=
in order to write a check=97because every merchant demanded different
identification. That's where digital signatures stand.=20

But the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is working with the Internet
players to find a hospitable middle ground. A way to make authenticity
initiatives harmonious. The articles linked at left tell you more about t=
technical details and where we stand now. What to do next: Start thinking
about how to take advantage of a Web that is truly safe. How you could
implement secure transactions on your own site. What new financial
arrangements you could have with customers and suppliers.=20

Thanks to digital signatures, the Internet is coming of age for commerce.
Prepare to cash in