News Releases

For immediate release August 23, 2000

Canadian Lawyers to Provide Legal Services  Safely over the Internet

Juricert Services Inc. brings Trusted Digital Credentials™  to Internet communications and documents

VANCOUVER – The Law Society of B.C., in conjunction with the Federation of Law Societies of Canada and its member Law Societies, today announced the launch of Juricert Services Inc. Juricert™will provide Canadian lawyers and members of other professional associations with Trusted Digital Credentials™ for use in applications, communications and document exchanges over the Internet. Trusted Digital Credentials™ provide proof of identity and proof of professional status to reduce the risk of Internet fraud and digital vandalism, and enable the holder to digitally sign electronic messages and ensure their confidentiality. Professionals using these Trusted Digital Credentials™ are also able to access a broad range of secure online services, the first being a private digital courier service from PrivateExpress Inc.

"The law societies of Canada have brought trust to the legal profession for 116 years. By creating a digital credentialing system for Canadian lawyers, we will bring trust to the new economy of the Internet. This is the reason we created Juricert," said James Matkin, Executive Director of the Law Society of British Columbia. "Juricert will allow Canadian legal professionals and their clients to deal with each other over the Internet with real confidence and cost-efficiency. The monthly cost of unlimited PrivateExpress/Juricert use can be as low as the cost of a single courier delivery."

PrivateExpress™has completed integration of Juricert™Trusted Digital Credentials™ into its private digital courier service. This service, working together with any regular Internet service, will allow Juricert™ authenticated users to send encrypted digital documents between parties over the Internet safely and be certain of secure delivery, privacy during transmission and certainty over the identity of both the sender and receiver, even if they have never met. This technology enables all document exchanges to be digitally signed and uniquely identified.

MacDonald Dettwiler will develop the secure Juricert™registration and authentication technology that will allow the issuance and management of Juricert™Trusted Digital Credentials™. MacDonald Dettwiler is an information company that develops a range of information systems and products including business-to-business systems, electronic property information systems, satellite technology and advanced space robotics trusted by governments and private corporations around the world.

Advanced Delivery Solutions Ltd. has worked closely with Juricert™to lead the development of this important national initiative by bringing together the unique strategy and alliances that make this initiative possible and will provide business launch services and senior management services in support of Juricert.

To encourage lawyers and notaries to move to this safer use of the Internet, Juricert™is offering registration and authentication services to participating Canadian law society and notary members at no charge until the end of the year. PrivateExpress™will also provide unlimited digital courier services to Juricert authenticated registrants at no charge for the remainder of this year, and for BC lawyers, the Law Society of BC will provide PrivateExpress services through 2001 as a member benefit. MacDonald Dettwiler will contribute funding and technical expertise to make Trusted Digital Credentials™ widely available through Juricert™.


The pilot project and development phase for Juricert began in early August, 2000. Over 200 lawyers across Canada are participating in the pilot and it is expected that a full service rollout will happen later this Fall.

Canadian lawyers interested in participating in Juricert pilot operations can obtain a registration form for themselves, staff and clients at For more information on Juricert services, they should contact

About Juricert

Juricert is a unique initiative of the Law Society of British Columbia and other Canadian law societies to provide Trusted Digital Credentials™ to professional associations, their members, staff and clients for use with secure third party applications. Its operations are governed in the interests of the public and the professional integrity of the participating professional associations. Juricert will provide three services:

  • Systems for professionals, their staff and clients to obtain Trusted Digital Credentials™;
  • Systems and practices for professional associations to participate in the authentication of their members; and
  • Access to a set of safe, PKI-secured third party applications that use these Trusted Digital Credentials™.

About the Law Society of British Columbia (LSBC)

The Law Society of British Columbia is the self-governing body of the B.C. legal profession. The primary responsibility of the Law Society under the provincial Legal Profession Act is to protect the public interest in the administration of justice. The LSBC works to ensure that the public is well served by an honorable, competent and independent legal profession. The LSBC accordingly sets and enforces standards of professional conduct for lawyers in British Columbia and brings a voice to issues affecting the justice system and the delivery of legal services. For more information on Canadian law societies, visit or visit the Law Society of BC website at:, email at, or call 1-604-836-3257.

About PrivateExpress, Inc.

PrivateExpress, Inc., the pioneer of digital courier services, is revolutionizing the way businesses move information outside the corporate firewall. Its PrivateExpress digital courier service is the first to combine the reliability and privacy of courier delivery with the ease, speed and affordability of the Internet. PrivateExpress is headquartered in San Mateo, Calif. For information about the company, visit, or call 1-888-964-2700.

About MacDonald Dettwiler

MacDonald Dettwiler is an information company that provides essential information from anywhere in the world for decision making in the workplace. The Company operates its business through two principal groups: the Information Products Group and the Information Systems Group. The Information Products Group delivers essential land information products and services in three categories including: legal information, asset information, and geographical information.

The Information Systems Group provides mission critical information systems to three major applications: Monitoring Activities on the Planet, Managing Mobile Assets, and Enabling the Mobile workforce. MacDonald Dettwiler employs 1,700 people around the world through a network of offices, subsidiaries, and distributors. For information about the company, visit

About Advanced Delivery Solutions Limited (ADSL)

Advanced Delivery Solutions is a unique company that helps clients turn good ideas into good business. ADSL combines their experience in business and technology to offer low-risk, affordable ways for organizations to grow, eliminate problems and enjoy their business more. For information about the company, visit, email at, or call 1-250-592-7453.

"Juricert" is a registered official mark of The Law Society of British Columbia, and is used under licence by Juricert Services Inc. The Juricert logo and the phrase "Trusted Digital Credentials" are trademarks and/or service marks of Juricert Services Inc.

Juricert™Background Information

1. Why are the law societies of Canada involved in Juricert?

The law societies of Canada today issue professional credentials to Canadian lawyers. In the new economy, lawyers and their clients are looking for ways to gain this certainty of legal credentials when dealing over the Internet. The law societies of Canada are simply evolving traditional services to meet the needs of its members, the public and government through the creation of Juricert.

2.  What are Trusted Digital Credentials™? What is a digital signature?

Trusted Digital Credentials™ are the electronic records that result from the Juricert authentication process. Juricert gathers the member information already contained in existing professional membership databases and any additional information required from an application service provider. Once authenticated, only a small amount of information is passed to an application service provider to activate various applications and services, thereby protecting the privacy of the remaining member information. Juricert subscribes to government standards in protection of privacy policies.

Trusted Digital Credentials™ can then be used to generate a "digital certificate," which is a piece of technology that allows an individual to digitally sign a document. This "digital signature" is not a visible mark like a handwritten signature, but is a unique identification code.

3.  Are Trusted Digital Credentials™ the same as a legal digital signature?

No, but Trusted Digital Credentials™ provide the foundation of a digital signature. The next step is to use the Trusted Digital Credentials™ to create a digital certificate for use with an application, such as PrivateExpress™. These digital certificate applications will allow holders to digitally sign documents, encrypt documents and gain access to secured applications. The process of obtaining one's first digital certificate occurs automatically when the PrivateExpress service is activated.

4.  Does this mean that applications that use Juricert Trusted Digital Credentials™ are fraud-proof?

No, fraud is possible in any system. However, it will be more difficult to perpetrate a fraud and it will be easier to detect when and with whom it occurred.

5. Can Trusted Digital Credentials™ be used for other applications?

Yes, Trusted Digital Credentials™ can be used to create more than one digital certificate each of which could provide access to more than one application. The number and type of digital certificates created will be up to the services that legal professionals choose and the type of technology that the vendor implements. Juricert is providing an open platform for the provision of secure applications using digital credentials.

6.What makes applications that use Juricert Trusted Digital Credentials™ so safe?

These applications are based on being certain about the identity of the sender and receiver of information, which is the same reason that people witness, notarize and sign paper documents today. This certainty is based on an independent process of authentication to validate the identity of the Juricert registrant. When combined with reasonable care by registrants to protect their Trusted Digital Credentials, there is certainty about the individuals with whom people are dealing over the Internet.

In addition, many secure applications, such as PrivateExpress, incorporate Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) technology. This technology allows information to be "locked" by the sender, sent over the Internet in such a way that no one but the intended recipient can "unlock" and read the information, and can be tracked to prove delivery. This provides a higher standard of security and legal proof not easily provided by normal email, especially when that email leaves the control of an organization's internal network and enters the public domain of the Internet.

7.  How does this help legal professionals?

Legal professionals will now have an alternative to unsecured email and expensive courier services. The monthly cost of unlimited PrivateExpress/Juricert usage is the same as the cost of a single courier delivery. Legal service providers will be able to send confidential information or information requiring certainty of delivery and non-repudiation using a regular Internet connection. This will still require some professional judgement to understand the applicable legislation, professional guidelines and respective law firm policies.

Many provinces are implementing electronic filing projects for government and court registries. Juricert is working with both government and vendors to facilitate the implementation of secure PKI-based legal filings.

Many provincial law societies are also investigating changes to the management of trust accounts that would allow electronic funds transfer. Trusted Digital Credentials™ can provide one piece of the solution — certainty of identity in trust account transfers.

8.  How does this help people who deal with legal professionals?

Communication with legal professionals can now be done safely and securely over the Internet. This can save time and money. It can also provide individuals with a convenient alternative to the delivery of legal correspondence, particularly if they travel, prefer not to wait for paper documents to arrive via courier, or prefer not to wait by a fax machine as a confidential fax is transmitted.

9.  How does Juricert help technology or service providers?

Juricert does not intend to compete with commercial suppliers of products and services. Juricert is neither building a proprietary PKI infrastructure, nor is it creating its own application software for sale, building commercial legal portals or entering into relationships that would result in the exclusion of any technology or supplier. It is an open framework designed to facilitate the provision of safe applications to the legal profession. If technology or service providers have a product or service of interest to the legal profession that could be made safer by using Trusted Digital Credentials™ from Juricert, then Juricert is interested in talking to them.

10.  Will PrivateExpress replace existing email applications?

Not in most circumstances. Email systems work well for many uses, especially when they are implemented over an internal private network. However, they frequently do not provide as much security or certainty in dealings over the Internet. When this is required, as it is in many professional activities that require confidentiality and certain delivery, PrivateExpress provides an excellent service to work alongside an organization or individual's usual email of choice.

11.  What is needed to use the system?

Users will need a Windows-based PC capable of running a least Internet Explorer 4.0 or Netscape 4.0, access to the Internet and an Internet email account. To load and operate PrivateExpress, users will need at least 5.5Mb of free disk space. As resources and time permit, Juricert may support other operating environments.

12.  Does this service require I.T. personnel to manage their environment differently?

There are important differences in the management of files that must be understood to gain the full value possible of legal non-repudiation. This information can be obtained by contacting Juricert at

13.  When is the Juricert service available?

Juricert has commenced pilot operations. Juricert services will be generally available this Fall but Juricert is accepting requests for registration now. Expressions of interest in registering now are encouraged as they may minimize any delays in processing applications later. Juricert is anticipating a large initial sign-up and all requests should be sent to


Media contact:
Elizabeth Cordeau