O'Rourke, Mary

Thursday, 29 June 2000

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 522 No. 4

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Electronic Commerce Bill, 2000 [ Seanad ] : Committee Stage.

I move amendment No. 1: In page 7, subsection (1), to delete lines 5 to 10 and substitute the following: “‘public body' means– (a) a Minister of the Government or a Minister of State, (b) a body (incl...More Button

I move amendment No. 2: In page 8, lines 8 to 18, to delete subsection (4) and substitute the following: “(4) Where in any legal proceedings the question of whether– (a) a body is a non-government org...More Button

The Deputy raised this question on Second Stage and I am assured that the right of people to do their business in whatever way is laid out by law in Irish and English will be guaranteed to them. Quest...More Button

In the past six months we have come to describe on-line illegal activities as cyber crime. However, this is not a justice Bill, it deals with business. The Criminal Damages Act, 1991, contains a numbe...More Button

I asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform that question this morning. The Bill is due for publication in the very near future. Amendment, by leave, withdrawn. Amendment No. 4 not moved...More Button

I thank Deputies Yates, Coveney and O'Shea for tabling these amendments and for their comments on them. Privacy in the face of bureaucracy is becoming increasingly central to EU directives and nationa...More Button

Which amendment?More Button

It states that it shall be an offence under this Act for any person to monitor or track electronic communication.More Button

The Deputy asked me to write to Mr. Glavey, the Data Commissioner, asking him to ensure Irish ISPs have a privacy policy. I will undertake to do that and will write directly to him. I will do that tom...More Button

I thank the Deputy for this useful contribution on how to deal with spam. Article 7.2 of the new e-commerce directive provides that members states shall take measures to ensure that service providers ...More Button

This is very interesting because it is in the line of vested interest. We received the same correspondence, as did the Attorney General and various other people. The group in question calls itself the...More Button

One of the points that puzzled us obviously struck others from whom we sought advice. The same degree of informality attends entering into a binding contract via the fax machine, which is currently po...More Button

Paragraphs (e) and (f) of amendment No. 13 go against much of what we are trying to do in this legislation. They also go against what other Departments are trying to do. The Patents Office is already ...More Button

I move amendment No. 14: In page 10, lines 12 to 24, to delete subsection (2) and substitute the following: “(2) Where the Minister is of the opinion that— (a) technology has advanced to such an exten...More Button

That is because I want to keep the Bill pure and simple.More Button

It is a simple Bill for business.More Button

The Deputy might be surprised.More Button

None of them came to me.More Button

It has been agreed.More Button

First, Alfie Kane wants to blame everyone else – he should look to the mote in his own eye. It is ironic that Deputy O'Malley and I are the two people who know most about the Consumer Credit Act, beca...More Button

—and that the debate will resume following Question Time at 3.50 p.m. and continue until 4.20 p.m. I suggest that that segment be designated as Report Stage.More Button

Does that not mean that the debate will run later?More Button

Paragraph (c) of amendment No. 19 may have to be reworded. Report Stage follows Committee Stage. It will not be taken on a separate day. Can an amendment be taken on the floor of the House?More Button

I ask Deputy Yates to accept my bona fides. Paragraph (c) of amendment No. 19 may have to be reworded. Section 45 of the Consumer Credit Act stipulates that a contract must be in a sealed envelope. Th...More Button

I move amendment No. 16: In page 10, paragraph (a), line 31, to delete “or”. This matter was raised by Senator Costello on Committee Stage in the Seanad by way of amendment to section 22, which was ac...More Button

That is correct. Amendment agreed to.More Button

I move amendment No. 17: In page 10, paragraph (b), line 34, to delete “regulations.” and substitute “regulations, or”. Amendment agreed to.More Button

I move amendment No. 18: In page 10, between lines 34 and 35, to insert the following: “(c) the Criminal Evidence Act, 1992.”. Amendment agreed to. Amendment No. 19 not moved. Section 11, as amended, ...More Button

The thrust and spirit of the Bill is to allow for equivalence between the paper and electronic word. The Bill provides that electronic signatures will be equivalent to handwritten signatures. Witnessi...More Button

I accept that. Amendment agreed to.More Button

The Deputy rightly says the amendment is inspired by Part I of the UK Elec tronic Transactions Act. That provides for a register. I met the British Minister responsible when she visited Dublin a coupl...More Button

It is self regulatory. The provisions outlined in the amendment derive from a section of the UK Act. However, it will not be implemented unless the self regulatory system does not work correctly. If i...More Button

The amendment is specific, whereas section 3 is more general in scope in that it gives the Minister enabling provisions. That is not to say that section 3 does not allow the Minister to act in this wa...More Button

That is correct. Amendment put and declared lost. SECTION 15.More Button

I have consulted the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform and it is of the view that the provisions of these Acts apply equally to both paper and electronic transactions. Amendment, by leave...More Button

The Bill does not set out to establish new rules of contract law. Its purpose is to provide a legal framework for electronic commerce. We must keep in mind at all times that the purpose of the Bill is...More Button

I see clearly what the Deputy is getting at, but this amendment is superfluous. Everything the Deputy said is correct and comes under the acceptance of equivalence in the legal framework of written c...More Button

Yes. It is the same as if the Deputy posted his letter of agreement. Once it has left his hand, he has crossed the Rubicon.More Button

It was stated on the Order of Business.More Button

The observation is that I accept the Deputy's proposal to delete the section. We conducted all sorts of trawls, etc. I also must attribute some of the credit for it to Senator Costello, who asked in t...More Button

I move amendment No. 25: In page 16, subsection (1), line 25, to delete “Where” and substitute “Subject to any other law, where”. These are just technical amendments. Amendment agreed to. Section 20, ...More Button

I move amendment No. 26: In page 17, subsection (2), line 9, after “addressee” to insert “or the law otherwise provides”. Amendment agreed to.More Button

I move amendment No. 27: In page 17, subsection (6), line 27, after “subsection (5)” to insert “but subject to subsection (7)”. The Companies Registration Office pointed out that the current wording o...More Button

I move amendment No. 28: In page 17, between lines 35 and 36, to insert the following subsection: “(7) If an electronic communication is or is in connection with a notification or other communication ...More Button

Electronic Commerce Bill, 2000 [ Seanad ] : Committee Stage (Resumed) and Remaining Stages.

On reflection, I feel that in this instance it would be wiser to use the original provision laid out in the Bill. Under the rules of evidence written words would never be excluded simply on the ground...More Button

I know that. However, section 16(1) of the Bill as amended in the Seanad states: If by law or otherwise a person or public body is required (whether the requirement is in the form of an obligation or ...More Button

The Deputy is seeking the utmost parity. Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.More Button

I move amendment No. 30: In page 18, lines 8 to 10, to delete subsection (2). Amendment agreed to. Question proposed: “That section 22, as amended, stand part of the Bill.”More Button

That is the one Senator Costello spoke on.More Button

I could. I do not have the documentation with me, but I remember it distinctly. We accepted that in good faith. Subsequently, we received a communication from the Department of Justice, Equality and L...More Button

I do not know so I will be straightforward.More Button

I think expansion was mentioned by the officials in terms of further legislation, but not for this Bill. I do not know, because I have not discussed the point with the officials. This Bill opens the d...More Button

Because it cannot be received.More Button

Bearing in mind the interlinking in the Bill, particularly between ourselves and the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform, I imagine it could be. Question put and agreed to. NEW SECTIONS.More Button

There are a number of initiatives already under way in relation to on-line arbitration in the context of business-business and business-consumer disputes. Work is well advanced on the establishment of...More Button

It is very interesting because when we examined this again this morning, and read the explanation, I immediately said “there is no precedent in Irish law”. There was a court case, but the defendant pl...More Button

I will return to the Deputy on this matter as we did not discuss that issue. It is important in the context of the Bill but an amendment in this regard has not been tabled. I will give the informatio...More Button

I knew when I read the amendment that that was its purpose. Europe went for bit-stream as a halfway house, but we think it is neither one thing nor the other and we are going for a full unbundling of ...More Button

I thank the Deputy. In the debate in the Seanad an important inconsistency between the Bill as published and the electronic signature directive was highlighted. We are inserting the wording used in th...More Button

I move amendment No. 35: In page 21, subsection (1), line 35, after “certificate” to insert “unless the certification service provider proves that he, she or it has not acted negligently”. Amendment a...More Button

The Department of the Taoiseach has appealed to the World Intellectual Property Organisation, to which everyone can have recourse, on the issue of bertieahern.com. Section 30, as it stands, provides p...More Button

The European Union has no control over the matter either. It is a global issue which cannot be controlled by fortress Europe.More Button

While we have done some good work in providing protection for citizens under the Bill, domain registration addresses such as dot com are not controlled from within the State. They can be accessed worl...More Button

I am informed that the European Union has no control over the matter. It is a global issue.More Button

Electronic signature legislation would not be the most suitable vehicle. Perhaps the matter should be looked at in the context of legislation dealing with trade marks. Amendment, by leave, withdrawn. ...More Button

I move amendment No. 38: In page 22, subsection (1), line 22, after “made” to insert “for the purpose of easy comprehension, fairness, transparency, avoidance of deception, promotion of fair competiti...More Button

I thank the Opposition spokespersons who have provided a very important input into the Bill and for the open and free way in which we all engaged in deliberating on it. I also thank the officials for ...More Button

Written Answers. - Aer Rianta.

Was asked: the number of Aer Rianta employees in each of the three airports; the number in corporate headquarters in Aer Rianta Ireland and in the Great Southern Hotels; the number in any ancillary sections; the...More Button

In 1999, the Aer Rianta Group employed a total of 3,341 staff. A breakdown is provided in the following schedule. I am advised by Aer Rianta that staff numbers increased between 1998 and 1999 due to i...More Button

Written Answers. - Departmental Appointments.

Was asked: the names and number of appointees to state agencies, bodies or boards made by her in the past 12 months; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The information sought by the Deputy is set out in the following schedule.More Button

Written Answers. - Irish Refining PLC.

Was asked: the plans, she has for Irish Refining PLC; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As part of a Government decision of 23 February 1999 to approve an investment programme to upgrade the Whitegate refinery, the Irish National Petroleum Corporation, INPC, the parent body of Irish Refi...More Button

Written Answers. - Eircom Persons.

Was asked: if, further to Parliamentary Question No. 88 of 2 December, 1999, Eircom has responded to her in relation to a person (details supplied) in Dublin 11 and other retired persons in similar circumstances...More Button

Policy administration in relation to superannuation arrangements of former employees of the Department of Posts and Telegraphs who transferred to Telecom Éireann on vesting day is essentially a matter...More Button

Written Answers. - Public Transport.

Was asked: the number of DART carriages and buses to serve the Dublin area delivered in the past twelve months; the scheduled delivery over the next 12 months; the total size of these fleets at the end of each o...More Button

Bus Átha Cliath purchased 215 buses in 1999. One hundred and fifty of these were additions to its fleet, co-financed by the Exchequer and the EU. The balance replaced buses in its existing fleet. Bus...More Button

Written Answers. - Rail Network.

Was asked: the current state of her proposals for new light rail and heavy rail links on Dublin's northside and the timing of each phase of the projects.More Button

The Dublin Transportation Office, DTO, is currently updating its transportation strategy for the period up to 2016. The DTO made a preliminary presentation of its proposed strategy to the Cabinet Comm...More Button

Written Answers. - Legal Actions.

Was asked: the number of legal actions entered into by the Department within the last 12 months; the number that are either successful, failed or on going; the total cost of these actions; the number of barriste...More Button

The road haulage section of the Department is involved in the enforcement of the EU tachograph regulations and road transport legislation regarding heavy good vehicles and buses. The Department curren...More Button


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