Ceremony christens new Internet security link

Andrew Donohue

Leaders of electronics businesses from around the world met Tuesday in a ceremony to christen the University as the sole North American link of a new global trade network.
In conjunction with the launching of the Secure Electronic Authenticated Link, Tuesday was named “Global Electronic Commerce Day” by Gov. Arne Carlson. The forum, held at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, highlighted the University and state’s roles as global leaders in the ever-expanding world of electronic commerce.
The secure link is the newest effort by the United Nations to provide a safe, international backbone for business. In a time when electronic commerce is booming and markets widening, businesses and consumers are looking for a trustworthy Internet system to thrust commerce into the 21st century.
With the SEAL lab, the University will become the continental hub for all business done over Internet lines and across international borders.
The ceremony also signified the convergence of the three major players in global electronic commerce, with representatives from the United States, China and Australia on hand.
The three nations are currently the only countries running functional links, with eight more sites in the works.
Carlos Moreira, head of the United Nations Trade Point Development Center, served as the conference’s keynote speaker and was one of three representatives who made the voyage from Melbourne, Australia.
“The U.N. have been working for years to establish global trust. What you see today is the first step in establishing this,” Moreira said. “In Minnesota we have a fertile environment for creating security for an electronic commerce.”
The director of the China SEAL, Min Sheng Liu, was also on hand to speak, with a translator by his side.
“The operation between China, the U.S. and Australia will build up a truly effective electronic commerce community,” Liu’s translator said.
Don Riley, associate vice president at the University who has been working with SEAL from the start, explained what the link would mean to the University and its students.
“By getting involved in something like this, we get a chance to see the global standards and install them in our campus,” Riley said.
He said the technology involved in the secured link can be applied to allow students to register from anywhere or pay bills online with the utmost security.
Sen. Steve Kelley, DFL-Hopkins, was also on hand to extend his support to Minnesota’s involvement in the U.N.’s global network.
“Here’s the potential for a small businessperson in northern Minnesota to do business with someone in Japan without having to be an expert in Internet technology,” Kelley said.