HTML and CSS Reference
There have been some movements to require that sales tax is collected on all
Internet purchases. At the time this was written, the moratorium on Internet sales
tax was still in effect. However, state and local governments are losing sources of
revenue as more consumers turn to online shopping. Look for the topic of
Internet sales tax to continue to be controversial.
● International Commerce. Web sites that target a global audience have additional
concerns. If a site will be offered in multiple languages there are options of auto-
matic translation programs ( http://www.systranlinks.com) and companies that
provide customized Web site translation services ( http://www.worldlingo.com). Be
aware that the graphical user interface (GUI) that works with English may not
work with other languages. For example, comparable words and phrases often
take quite a few more letters in German than in English. If your GUI doesn't have
enough white space in the English version of the site, how will it look in the
How will your international customers pay you? If you accept credit cards, the
credit card company will perform the currency conversion. What about the culture
of your target international audience? Have you studied the target countries and
made certain that your site is appealing and not offensive? Another issue related to
international commerce is the cost of shipping and the availability of delivery to
Now that you are familiar with the concept of e-commerce, let's take a closer look at
encryption methods and security. The next section introduces encryption methods, SSL,
and digital certificates.
Encryption is used to ensure privacy within an organization and on the Internet.
Encryption is the conversion of data into an unreadable form, called a ciphertext .
Ciphertext cannot be easily understood by unauthorized individuals. Decryption is the
process of converting the ciphertext into its original form, called plain text or clear text ,
so that it can be understood. The process of encryption and decryption requires an
algorithm and a key.
Encryption is important on the Internet because information in a packet can be inter-
cepted as it travels the communications media. If a hacker or business competitor inter-
cepts an encrypted packet, he or she will not be able to use the information (such as a
credit card number or business strategy) because it cannot be read.
A number of types of encryption are commonly used on the Internet, including
symmetric-key encryption and asymmetric-key encryption .
Symmetric-Key Encryption. Symmetric-key encryption, shown in Figure 12.2, is also
called single-key encryption because both the encryption and decryption use the same
key. Since the key must be kept secret from others, both the sender and receiver must
know the key before communicating using encryption. An advantage of symmetric-key
encryption is speed.