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Regulatory Framework for E-Commerce: International “Best Practices” & Models: 

Regulatory Framework for E-Commerce: International “Best Practices” & Models ROBERT HORVITZ Manager, Central/Eastern Europe GLOBAL INTERNET POLICY INITIATIVE (GIPI) BOB@INTERNEWS.ORG “The State and Development Prospects of ICT in Uzbekistan” Uzbek Agency of Communication & Informatization (UzACI) Tashkent, 26-27 November 2002

Key Issues in Creating a Framework for E-Commerce: 

Key Issues in Creating a Framework for E-Commerce Telecom reform Recognition of electronic documents Consumer protection Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Dispute resolution ISP liability Domain names

1. Telecom Reform: 

1. Telecom Reform Probably the most important way to boost development of e-commerce Introducing competition... Reduces costs so more people go online Promotes innovation Improves quality of service Attracts foreign investment for network expansion

1. Telecom Reform: 

1. Telecom Reform WTO Annex on Telecommunications: http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/serv_e/12-tel_e.htm (1997) WTO Principles on the Regulatory Frame-work for Basic Telecommunications Regulation http://www.wto.org/english/news_e/pres97_e/refpap-e.htm (1996)

2. Recognition of electronic documents: 

2. Recognition of electronic documents To enable... legal recognition of electronic contracts use of electronic documents as evidence in courts electronic filing of government forms ...By agreeing on principles for recognizing e-signatures and other electronic validation technologies. and exceptions where they are not recognized.

2. Recognition of electronic documents: 

2. Recognition of electronic documents United Nations Commission on International Trade Law: “Model Law on Electronic Commerce” (UNCITRAL, 1996): http://www.uncitral.org/english/texts/electcom/ecommerceindex.htm European Directive on a Community framework for electronic signatures (1999) http://europa.eu.int/comm/internal_market/en/media/sign/Dir99-93-ecEN.pdf

3. Consumer Protection: 

3. Consumer Protection E-commerce’s success depends on the legal system recognizing & promptly enforcing electronic contracts (business-to-business and business-to-consumer). Consumer protection includes... Prohibiting misleading advertising Regulating consumer financial services & credit Rules against fraudulent & unauthorized billing Rules for resolving complaints about defective products Including right to a refund if goods not delivered

3. Consumer Protection: 

3. Consumer Protection Before closing contract, consumer should be given... Identity & address of supplier. Description of goods & their price. Procedure for payment, delivery & performance (if buying a service). Notice of “right of withdrawal.”

3. Consumer Protection: 

3. Consumer Protection European Parliament & Council Directive 97/7/EC (17 February 1997) on the protection of consumers in respect of distance contracts - http://europa.eu.int/information_society/topics/ebusiness/ecommerce/3information/law&ecommerce/legal/documents/31997L0007/31997L0007_en.html European Parliament & Council Directive 2000/31/EC (8 June 2000) on electronic commerce http://europa.eu.int/ISPO/ecommerce/legal/documents/2000_31ec/2000_31ec_en.pdf

4. Electronic Funds Transfer: 

4. Electronic Funds Transfer Developing an online payment system involves complex issues of security, liability & taxation. At a minimum, banking laws must enable payment via credit/debit-card. Many EU directives deal with this They are good models for legislators.

5. Dispute Resolution: 

5. Dispute Resolution Disagreements between buyers & sellers are inevitable. Where small amounts of money are involved, going to court is not practical. To build consumer confidence, encourage cheap & fast “alternative dispute resolution” processes – in addition to the courts. ADR processes need not be government-managed NGOs & businesses can set them up & run them.

5. Dispute Resolution: 

5. Dispute Resolution “Report of the Conference on Building Trust in the Online Environment: Business to Consumer Dispute Resolution,” Joint Conference of the OECD, HCOPIL & ICC (11-12 December 2000), Document # DSTI/ICCP/REG/CP (2001).

6. ISP Liability: 

6. ISP Liability ISPs should not be held liable if it is only a “transparent relay” for improper commercial information created by others. Also not liable under US or EU law for information that is automatically & temporarily “cached” to speed up local access. ISP has no general duty to monitor or investigate the legality of material which he only transmits for others.

7. Domain names: 

7. Domain names Not essential that e-commerce law deal with domain name registration. But it can become an e-commerce issue... If cost of company name registration is too high, or rules limiting how many names can be registered is too restrictive. See ICANN’s best practices in ccTLD management: http://www.icann.org/cctlds/centr-2nd-best-practices-20may01.htm

For another time...: 

For another time... Privacy Electronic notaries Copyrights & trademarks Cybercrime ROBERT HORVITZ bob@internews.org