British PM aims to get everyone online

British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, seeks to make the U.K. one of the world’s leading “e-conomies”. The plan? To provide every citizen with Internet access to enable them to communicate more easily with government and local councils, and to carry out activities such as voting and paying council taxes.

Leading players from the private sector — including representatives from the mobile and banking industries, as well as ministers from e-Government departments all across Europe and Japan — have been involved in defining this initiative. The delegates discussed measures to offer confidentiality, integrity and authentication in a wireless environment.

Some of the goals include:

– Exploring standard mechanisms to ensure that mobile public service transactions are secure

– Making the Prime Minister’s ambitious targets a reality, through co-operation between the public and private sectors

– Establishing a global benchmark for mobile government/citizen transactions.

According to Forrester Research, by 2005 there will be an estimated 28 million “multi-device users”, and 12 million single-device users in the U.K.

Some 6 000 online centres have been installed in the U.K., mostly situated in public libraries, where the public could have access to the Internet and wireless information. In addition, a Web site has been created as a forum to bring together up-to-the-minute details on issues across the political and social spectrum from unemployment, housing, the environment, pensions, education, transport, crime and health, to information on the European community and the changing nature of the global economy.

This site also offers the public a central resource for information, specifically about wireless capability, security and networking. For example, a person or organization seeking information on how to create a wireless office or wireless public “hot spot” for a caf

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