Summary: H.R.1714 — 106th Congress (1999-2000)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (11/09/1999)

Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act - Title I: Validity of Electronic Records and Signatures for Commerce - Prohibits a rule of law from denying the legal effect of certain instruments of electronic commerce on the ground that: (1) they are not in writing, if they are electronic records; or (2) they are not signed or affirmed by a signature, if they have been signed or affirmed by electronic signature.

(Sec. 101) Upholds the legal effect of such instruments regardless of the type or method of electronic record or signature selected by the signatories. Emphasizes that this Act does not require a party to use or accept electronic records or signatures.

Cites circumstances in which an electronic record satisfies any statute, regulation, or other rule of law mandating: (1) availability to the customer of a record in writing; (2) retention of a contract, agreement, or record in writing or in its original form; and (3) retention of a check. Upholds the contestability of signatures and charges.

(Sec. 102) Cites circumstances in which a State statute or rule of law may alter or supersede the general rule of validity governing instruments of electronic commerce under this Act, including: (1) that such statute or rule of law constitutes an enactment or adoption of the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act as reported by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State laws; and (2) a State requirement that certain notices be in writing for the protection of the public health and safety of consumers.

(Sec. 103) Specifies legal and commercial instruments excluded from the purview of this Act, including: (1) certain testamentary instruments; (2) matters of family law; (3) certain instruments under the Uniform Commercial Code; (4) certain judicial documents; (5) certain credit-related proceedings; (6) the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act; and (7) the Uniform Health-Care Decisions Act.

(Sec. 104) Directs the Secretary of Commerce to conduct inquiries and report to Congress on: (1) compliance with this Act of State statutes and regulations; and (2) the effectiveness of the delivery of electronic records to consumers using electronic mail as compared with delivery of written records via the U.S. Postal Service and private express mail service.

Title II: Development and Adoption of Electronic Signature Products and Services - Directs the Secretary, acting through the Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information, to conduct inquiries into and report to Congress on: (1) domestic and foreign impediments to commerce in electronic signature products and services; (2) constraints imposed by foreign nations and international organizations that constitute barriers to providers of such products or services; and (3) the degree to which other nations and international organizations comply with specified related principles.

(Sec. 201) Requires the Secretary, acting through the Assistant Secretary, to promote the acceptance and use of electronic signatures in interstate and foreign commerce.

Title III: Use of Electronic Records and Signatures Under Federal Securities Law - Amends the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to reflect the provisions of this Act regarding the use of electronic records and signatures. Authorizes the Securities and Exchange Commission to: (1) prescribe implementing regulations following certain guidelines; (2) require that records be filed in a specified standard or format; and (3) require manual signatures in certain circumstances to deter fraud.