Mission Statement for Electronic Signatures and Infrastructures
Standardisation in ETSI
Standardization in the area of electronic signatures and infrastructures is
currently taking place in the ETSI Technical Committee ESI. To achieve its
goals ETSI needs the collaboration of all interested parties and stakeholders in
the marketplace including vendors, operators, user organizations and other
The action addresses some basic needs of secure electronic commerce and of
secure electronic document exchange in general by providing specifications for a
selected set of technical items that have been found both necessary and
sufficient to meet minimum interoperability requirements. Examples of business
transactions based on electronic signatures and public key certificates are
purchase requisitions, contracts and invoice applications.
The lack of standards to support the use of electronic signatures and public
key certificates has been identified as one of the greatest impediments to
electronic commerce. The deployment of vendor-specific new infrastructures is
currently in progress. It is recognized by different parties that there is an
urgent need for standards to provide the basis for an open electronic commerce
environment. Speedy specifications in this area will make it possible to
influence early developments.
The ETSI strategy is in line with, and endorsed by the initiative of the EU
Commission to establish a harmonized infrastructure for electronic signatures.
Objective and strategy
The objective of the program is to present a set of ETSI Standards. A
further ambition is to harmonize specifications at the international level and
gain a broad market take-up. ETSI Specialist Task Forces have been established
with the aim to complement the resources and expertise of ETSI TC ESI.
Wherever it is possible the Working Group will build upon existing
specifications from ITU, ISO and IETF and focus on profiling and supplementing
available material and, where necessary, developing new specifications. A close
monitoring of and input to relevant work of the IETF will be essential to this