The passage of the e-signature bill will enable Internet commerce to move forward at an even quicker pace. Now contracts, checks, and loan applications can be signed online.
E-signature laws are already in place in several states, and the IRS experimented with receiving some tax returns with e-signatures this past spring. The law requires that consumers must consent to the use of an e-signature, and the consumer protection laws that are currently in place will apply to e-consumers who use e-signatures.
In spite of the appropriateness of signing such a bill electronically, Clinton also signed a paper copy of the bill today, in the more traditional manner. "At this point we're still exploring whether it would be constitutionally acceptable for the president to e-sign a bill and whether it's advisable in light of the 200 years of tradition," White House spokesman Jake Siewert said.