[ISN] Cryptography: Its not just about keeping things secret

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Wed Mar 13 2002 - 23:43:59 PST

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    By Robin Holder
    Business from 2002-03-13 Edition
    BERMUDA IS actively promoting itself as a jurisdiction for offshore
    E-commerce, according to Nicko van Someren, the general chair of the
    International Financial Cryptography Conference (FC 02) taking place
    at Sonesta Beach Resort this week.
    The sixth annual conference, organized by the International Financial
    Cryptography Association, is bringing together cryptographers,
    technologists, businesses, bankers and lawyers.
    It is the only international gathering dedicated to the understanding
    of cryptography - the science of encoding messages - and its relevance
    to international finance.
    "Cryptography is not just about encryption codes and keeping things
    secret. It's about authentication, finding out about the person on the
    other end of the line, integrity checking and ensuring
    confidentiality," van Someren, also chief technology officer of
    nCipher Corp., said. For cryptography to be effective, protocols have
    to developed in conjunction with functions such as online shopping and
    sending confidential E-mail, van Someren added.
    "This conference looks at cryptography as applied to all aspects of
    finance. That might mean anything as simple as retail E-commerce right
    through to more complex issues like the validity of digital contracts
    and defining digital currencies which have some of the properties of
    physical currencies," van Someren said.
    He said people have been examining the technical aspects of anonymous
    cash systems for some years but there is a danger since totally
    anonymous cash systems could be used as tools for money laundering.  
    "The conference is a convergence of cryptography as applied to finance
    in the broader sense. It might be payment processing on the Internet,
    or it might be managing the digital rights of people creating digital
    media or protecting people from identity theft," van Someren said.  
    The conference was first held six years ago in Anguilla but this is
    the first time it is being held in Bermuda.
    Addressing delegates so far have been Renee Webb, the Minister of
    Telecommunications and E-commerce and Nigel Hickson, E-business
    consultant to the Ministry.
    "There are data protection issues that surround the OECD's
    (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) treaty on tax
    law harmonization and the cryptography involved in E-commerce has
    significant implications for that," van Someren said.
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