section is designed to explain the
ideas and terms relevant to offshore
e-commerce which occur on the site
and may not be immediately understandable
to a non-expert.
Digital Subscriber Line, a technology
that allows high speed use of the
Internet down normal telephone wire;
however it works satisfactorily
only within relatively short distances
from an exchange.
simply this is the rate at which information
that can travel along a given communications
link, for instance down the medium
(twisted copper pair, cable, wireless
frequency etc) used to connect to
the Internet. See Mbps, Gbps, Tbps.
generic name for methods of delivering
electronic data which are fast enough
(have enough bandwidth/have large
anough pipes) to be used to deliver
motion-picture quality images. Cable
can deliver broadband; telephone lines
cannot (at present).
program used by the FBI in the US
which can 'sniff-out' suspicious content
in protected messages and data-bases
and take copies; may eventually be
judged unconstitutional in its present
that a signature or document or transaction
on the Internet is what it says it
is; certification is supplied by Trusted
Third Parties or Certification Authorities
who use advanced security features
to ensure that data accompanied by
a Certificate cannot be tampered with.
Foreign Corporation; most high-tax
countries have legislation which compels
the repatriation (or equivalent taxation)
of the profits of companies in offshore
jurisdictions if they are substantially
owned by shareholders in the high-tax
a virtual server, dedicated to one
client (one customer-base), on the
same server as is used by the ISP
or Internet host who is providing
that client with Internet access.
money, provided in a secure way by
a bank to a customer, which can then
be used electronically to buy products
products, or digital products:
product or service that can be delivered
electronically, and specifically over
the Internet. For example, computer
software can be downloaded from server
to client; or legal advice can be
given in the form of e-mails and electronic
company's retail presence on the Internet,
including its catalogue, selling tools
and payment processing tools.
Financial Action Task Force, an action
group set up by the OECD (qv) to attack
money-laundering, and which issued
a list of 6 offshore jurisdictions
which it said lacked effective controls
parts of a commercial operation that
face and deal with the customer.
Financial Stability Forum, an action
group set up by the G7 (top nations
club) to prevent a recurrence of the
1998 Asian melt-down, and which issued
a list of 15 (mostly offshore) jurisdictions
which it said represented a threat
to global financial stability.
per second (one billion bytes per
second) - a measure of Bandwidth,
ie the capacity of a connection.
User Interface. This is the name for
the screens that people will see when
browsing a web site.
Internet Service Provider (ISP - see
below) who also offers hosting of
Internet domains. Many do, but not
Business Company. A type of company
offered by many offshore jurisdictions
which gives tax exemption for international
Offshore Financial Centre. Another
name for an offshore financial jurisdiction,
or what used to be called a tax haven.
Protocol. The standardised format
used to send packets of information
on the Internet.
Services Digital Network. An ISDN
line will give you a much faster connection
to the Internet; it may come to be
replaced by ADSL technology.
Service Provider. A company which
offers connection to the Internet
to its clients; it may or may not
offer more complex service.
'peer-to-peer' program that allows
two or more computer users to exchange
data securely over the Internet; used
by music buffs for free copying until
attacked by the record companies.
Organisation for Economic Co-operation
and Development - a Paris-based club
of 27 rich countries which sets informal
but widely-adopted economic standards
and which has attacked 35 offshore
jurisdictions for what it calls 'unfair'
the context of e-commerce offshore
means that a site is situated on a
server that is physically located
in an IOFC.
channels (wires, transmission links,
cables, or whatever, that connect
two parts of a network).
bits per second (one million bytes
per second). A measure of bandwidth
i.e. the volume of bits of data that
can be transferred per second over
a given link.
protocol (data format) used to allow
music to be sent over the Internet.
in (for instance) a US state, giving
rise to a liability for sales tax.
in 'open standards'; software which
has general applicability on the Internet
and can be used in any application,
as opposed to:
tied to a particular provider, and
not necessarily compatible with any
particular other piece of software.
Switched Network - the existing telecommunications
system in a country which routes calls
Internet software and many services
are provided by resellers who buy
or license programs or packages from
originators and sell them on.
of Investigatory Powers Act; a contentious
piece of UK legislation which can
be used to compel ISPs to provide
decoded copies of encrypted communications
to the Government and which may restrict
the growth of the UK e-commerce.
Music Downloading Initiative. The
'corporate' alternative to Mp3, being
developed by the big recording companies.
computer that will host a web site,
usually on the premises of an ISP
or Web Host; it 'serves' visitors
to the site with pages on request.
called Internet Hotel - a facility
which houses e-commerce or e-business
servers belonging to users in a controlled
environment and acts as a communications
hub for them.
server that is equipped to handle
sensitive details such as credit card
information; thus it must have the
ability to send and receive encrypted
information through the SSL and/or
part of the software in an electronic
shop that allows customers to pick
up goods as if they were on a shelf
and take them all together to the
Socket Layer and Secure Electronic
Transaction respectively. These two
protocols allow encryption between
browser and server, facilitating secure
transfer of sensitive data.
Sales Tax Project; an attempt by about
40 US states to develop a harmonised
sales tax regime in preparation for
imposing effective sales taxes on
Presence (UK)/ Permanent Establishment
relates to the law regarding taxation
of business profits. For a country
to tax a company's profits it must
usually be first established that
the company is carrying on business
in that jurisdiction. This is done
by showing that the company has a
'taxable presence' in the UK or a
'permanent establishment' in the US.
per second (One thousand billion bytes
per second) - a measure of Bandwidth,
ie the volume of data that can be
transmitted over a given connection.
Company. The companies that supplied
basic telecommunications services;
very often, the national PTTs. The
distinction between telcos and other
telecommunications providers is becoming
level of data volume, 1,000 times
greater than gigabyte, which is in
turn 1,000 times greater than a megabyte
(one million bytes), which is in turn
1,000 times greater than a kilobyte
(one thousand bytes).
Added Tax. A tax that applies throughout
the value-chain in the EU and some
other jurisdictions, whereas sales
tax jurisdictions (eg the US) apply
tax only at the final stage when a
consumer buys a product.
countries levy a tax on various types
of payment leaving their jurisdiction,
including interest, royalties, license
payments, and dividends. These payments
are 'withheld', hence, 'withholding
Markup Language: XML is an extended
form of HTML allowing extra features
to be integrated to web pages.