RUSSIA TO START USING ELECTRONIC DIGITAL SIGNATURE THIS YEAR

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MOSCOW, March 29 (RIA Novosti's Tatyana Belyakova) - Russia may start using electronic digital signature (EDS) in the end of this year, Boris Antonyuk, the first deputy head of the former Russian communications ministry, told a Moscow press conference on Monday.

He recalled that the Law on EDS was adopted last year but it has not been put into effect yet. To resolve this problem, the communications ministry developed amendments to the law that are to be submitted to the State Duma (parliament's lower house) by the end of 2004.

Mr. Antonyuk said the EDS will make it possible to speed up the work of different structures. Each person, in Mr. Antonyuk's words, will get a key identifying the citizen's personal signature.

However, he said, it's necessary to decide who will hand out these keys. Most likely, in the expert's opinion, a single state center will be responsible for the keeping and handing out of the keys, while commercial structures may be engaged in their distribution.

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