The CommerceNet consortium said it has completed development of standardized documents for international certifications of digitally signed transactions.

Working with Mitsubishi Corp. of Japan, CommerceNet demonstrated the feasibility of cross-certification in international commerce.

Cross-certification is an authentication technique used when there are two certificate authorities, or CAs.

The CAs in the pilot were JapanNet and CommerceNet.

"It is unlikely that a CA in one country will issue multipurpose certificates to individuals in another country, principally for legal reasons," said James Galvin, CommerceNet's director of electronic commerce technologies. "We must be able to work with each others' certificates."

Thomas Smedinghoff, chairman of the American Bar Association's electronic commerce division, said the JapanNet standard "is the first comprehensive effort to identify and address the issues of cross- certification on an international level."

He called one document, the Model E-Commerce Trade Agreement, "an especially important advance" for international use of digital signatures.

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