Monday, November 07, 2005

Trowers & Hamlins on e-Legislation

Charles Schofield, Senior Solicitor at Trowers & Hamlins ( delivered an e-Legislation seminar at Knowledge Oasis Muscat ( on Tuesday 1 November. Schofield has had extensive experience in advising both major corporations and innovative start up companies on the legal aspects of their online operations. His clients have included Australia’s largest online bill payment service, major banks and leading telecommunications and Internet companies. He has also been involved in government and industry initiatives to regulate online financial services and Public Key Infrastructure.

According to PEIE’s Ibtisam Al Faruji and Co-ordinator of the KOM Open House program: “Global co-operation on e-Legislation, Internet security and heightened consumer awareness is on the rise. Indeed, Internet users need to be protected legally.” Legal experts estimate that bulk unsolicited e-mails - or spam - accounts for over 60 per cent of all e-mail traffic on the Internet, up from under half in 2003 and under ten per cent in 2001 and is frequently linked to fraudulent or deceptive commercial activities. Research suggests that most spam received by Oman’s Internet users originates from overseas, making cross-border e-Legislation collaboration essential.

“We often think of spam as just annoying and intrusive. In fact, it gets in the way of legitimate e-Commerce and is often a vehicle for scams and computer viruses,” remarked Mohammed Al Maskari, Acting Director General, KOM. “Schofield’s 1 November e-Legislation Open House seminar was unique. We’re all united by a common goal: to stop deceptive and fraudulent spam from flooding our e-mail boxes, threatening our data security and undermining e-mail's effectiveness as a tool for commerce and communication,” Maskari told PEIE Mirror.

Schofield’s seminar offered attendees an overview of the key legal issues arising from e-Commerce and ways in which government legislation can help overcome those issues. Those emerging legal issues include the treatment of electronic transactions, jurisdiction issues, security, online fraud and data protection. The seminar also considered the international context in which these issues are being addressed and steps that domestic governments can take to better foster the growth of e-Commerce. “The objective of Tuesday’s Open House was to highlight the e-Legislation work being carried out in Oman. Moreover, it was intended to help government and private sector attendees understand ways in which they can help deter Internet-based crime and increase confidence in e-Commerce,” commented Al Maskari.