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Friday, December 4, 1998 Published at 13:16 GMT


Wanted: e-Envoy to lead business revolution

The job ad published on Friday on the DTI Website

By Internet Correspondent Chris Nuttall

The UK Government has advertised for an Internet czar to spearhead its drive to make Britain the most e-commerce friendly country on the planet.

The job ad, published on the Website of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), says the position will be known as the UK's e-Envoy or Special Representative on the Digital Economy.

The e-Envoy will report directly to the Trade Secretary Peter Mandelson and the Prime Minister as required. He or she will not create a new organisation but will work with the DTI, other government departments and industry bodies.

International role

The person will "spearhead the government's drive to ensure that by 2002 the UK is the best environment worldwide in which to trade electronically; and UK businesses and consumers fully realise the potential which this will create."

The e-Envoy will also be an e-commerce ambassador abroad for Britain. They need not be British though, more important is "a global perspective and a substantial grasp of the potential of the Information Age."

Candidates can submit their applications by e-mail and the shortlist will be interviewed in February.

The advert refers to the government's evolving policy on electronic commerce: the net benefit e-commerce agenda set in October, the Electronic Commerce Bill announced in the Queen's Speech in November and the Competitiveness White Paper due out this month.

The net benefit outlines most of the issues an Internet czar would have to tackle: consumer protection, data protection, potentially objectionable material, authentication and digital signatures, confidentiality, encryption, taxation issues, intellectual property rights, technical standards, illegal content, telecoms infrastructure, electronic payments systems, domain name issues and facilitating trade.

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