Letters to the Editor
DSL requirement overlooked
I was very interested to read the article "Digital signature technology begins to take off in government" [FCW, Feb. 8]. However, I believe that there is one issue that was overlooked and deserves attention.
While reporter Heather Harreld alluded to legal liability...she did not directly address the requirement to replace legally binding paper transactions with legally binding electronic ones.... The security, "auditability" and nonrepudiation of transactions are well established in the physical world but have been poorly addressed in the digital world.
While this is acknowledged by experts in the industry, I do not think that there is enough awareness about this issue and the possible ramifications.
UWI.Com has been working with Tim Bray, co-editor of XML on the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), to craft a common standard that allows organizations to move their paper-based forms systems to the Internet while maintaining the necessary attributes of paper-based transactional records.
The result of this effort is the Extensible Forms Description Language. XFDL is an application of XML that has been submitted to various standards bodies....
A research paper on XFDL...is available at www.uwi.com/w8.
There's more to it
In the Federal Bytes column on the General Services Administration's "Y2K for Kids" Web site [FCW, Feb. 8], Federal Computer Week states that the "site has only a single Web page, as far as we can tell." In fact, the site has a page for kids to ask questions about the Year 2000 problem, and each kid receives a response. There is also a frequently asked questions page. Kids access these other pages quite easily and often, as evidenced by the number of questions that we answer each day!
Susan HindenGeneral Services Administration