Tuesday, October 20, 2009

TRA licenses Etisalat as first certification service provider in UAE

Dubai, October 19, 2009: The Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRA) today announced its decision to license Etisalat as the first certification service provider in the UAE .as part of an overall objective to regulate certification service providers who are looking to offer PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) solutions which are aimed at helping businesses conduct eCommerce securely on the web.

Etisalat was a pioneer in the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) domain and started offering PKI based services in 1999. Etisalat was earlier operating the region’s first commercial Certificate Authority with PKI products and services being offered under the Comtrust brand prior to the regulation by the TRA.

This decision by the TRA has been taken based on the UAE Certification Service Provider Regulation which establishes a licensing and regulatory regime governing certification service providers operating in the UAE. The regulations were established on the basis of Federal Law No (1) of 2006 on Electronic Commerce and transactions. Etisalat had earlier submitted an application for the same which was formally accepted by the TRA .

The Act and these Regulations shall apply to Certification Service Providers operating in the UAE and to all who provide such electronic attestation services directly or indirectly to the public for commercial purposes with respect to Electronic Records, documents and signatures that relate to Electronic Transactions and Commerce.

In this respect, H.E. Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim, TRA Director General, said: “The TRA has been granted the role of the Controller with responsibilities relating to the licensing, approval, monitoring and overseeing of the activities of the Certificate Service Provider (CSP). Hence, since this era has been labeled as the digital age where electronic transactions are considered a main player in the national and global economies, the security of online business is vital for the flow and progress of such an energetic sector. Therefore, it has become a stressing necessity to accredit the TRA to license entities to secure the electronic transactions by certifying the authenticity of the related services.”

“Accordingly, the TRA has developed an action plan for enforcing the law on electronic commerce and transactions which encompasses three basic phases. These include the development of the regulatory framework for electronic commerce and transactions to ensure transparency and consumer protection. The second phase works to strengthen the public credibility of ecommerce, and the third phase will contribute to the development of electronic and digital economy in the UAE in line with the overall Government strategy,” added Al Ghanim.

According to Essa Al Haddad, Chief Marketing Officer, Etisalat, “We are very pleased to be licensed as the first Certification Service Provider in the UAE by the TRA. This development is a significant recognition for Etisalat’s expertise and track record in operating a sophisticated certification programme in the UAE. Given the UAE ‘s Digital Economy strategy, and growth in eBusiness, this development will reinforce Etisalat’s leadership position in this domain to offer such eCommerce services.”

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