Digital signatures and law
||It has been suggested that this article be merged into Electronic signature. (Discuss) Proposed since November 2013.|
Worldwide, legislation concerning the effect and validity of digital signatures includes:
- 1 Argentina
- 2 Bermuda
- 3 Brazil
- 4 Canada
- 5 China
- 6 Colombia
- 7 European Union and the European Economic Area
- 8 Ghana
- 9 Guatemala
- 10 India
- 11 Japan
- 12 Korea
- 13 Malaysia
- 14 Moldova
- 15 New Zealand
- 16 Peru
- 17 Philippines
- 18 Russian Federation
- 19 South Africa
- 20 Switzerland
- 21 United Nations Commission on International Trade Law
- 22 United States
- 23 Uruguay
- 24 Turkey
- 25 Legal cases
- 26 Further reading
- 27 References
- Ley Nº 25.506 (B.O. 14/12/2001).
- Decreto Nº 2628/02 (B.O. 20/12/2002).
- Decreto N° 724/06 (B.O. 13/06/06).
- Electronic Transactions Act 1999
- Certification Service Providers (Relevant Criteria and Security Guidelines) Regulations 2002
- Medida provisória 2.200-2 (Portuguese) - Brazilian law states that any digital document is valid for the law if it is certified by ICP-Brasil (the official Brazilian PKI) or if it is certified by other PKI and the concerned parties agree as to the validity of the document.
- PIPEDA - Canadian law distinguishes between the generic "electronic signature" and the "secure electronic signature". Federal secure electronic signature regulations make it clear that a secure electronic signature is a digital signature created and verified in a specific manner. Canada's Evidence Act contains evidentiary presumptions about both the integrity and validity of electronic documents with attached secure electronic signatures, and of the authenticity of the secure electronic signatures themselves.
- Electronic Signature Law of the People's Republic of China (Chinese) - The stated purposes include standardizing the conduct of electronic signatures, confirming the legal validity of electronic signatures and safeguarding the legal interests of parties involved in such matters.
- LEY 527 DE 1999 (agosto 18) por medio de la cual se define y reglamenta el acceso y uso de los mensajes de datos, del comercio electrónico y de las firmas digitales, y se establecen las entidades de certificación y se dictan otras disposiciones.
- DECRETO 2364 DE 2012 (Noviembre 22) por medio del cual se reglamenta el artículo 7° de la Ley 527 de 1999, sobre la firma electrónica y se dictan otras disposiciones.
European Union and the European Economic Area
- European Union Directive establishing the framework for electronic signatures:
- Directive 1999/93/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 December 1999 on a Community framework for electronic signatures.
- Commission Decision 2003/511/EC adopting three CEN Workshop Agreements as technical standards presumed to be in accordance with the Directive
- Implementing laws: Several countries have already implemented the Directive 1999/93/EC.
- Czech Republic
- England, Scotland and Wales
- Laki sähköisistä allekirjoituksista, 2003 (in Finnish)
- Presidential Decree 150/2001 (in Greek)
- Ireland, Republic of
- Electronic Signature Act, 2001 (in Norwegian).
- Digital Signature Act (Act 562), 1997 (in Bahasa Malaysia).
- Digital Signature Act (Act 562), 1997 (in English).
- Digital Signature Regulations (P.U.(A) 359), 1998 (in Bahasa Malaysia).
- Digital Signature Regulations (P.U.(A) 359), 1998 (in English).
- Lege cu privire la documentul electronic şi semnătura digitală, July 15, 2004 (in Romanian)
- Law about Electronic Document and Digital Signature (in Russian)
For an overview of the New Zealand law refer: - The Laws of New Zealand, Electronic Transactions, paras 16-18; or - Commercial Law, paras 8A.7.1-8A.7.4. (these sources are available on the LexisNexis subscription-only website)
United Nations Commission on International Trade Law
- Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA)
- Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-SIGN), at 15 U.S.C. 7001 et seq. The law permits the use of electronic signatures in many situations, and preempts many state laws that would otherwise limit the use of electronic signatures.
Uruguay laws include both, electronic and digital signatures:
- Concerning passwords or adequate information technology gestures
- Concerning electronic and digital signature and PKI
Turkey has an Electronic Signature Law TBMM.gov.tr since 2004. This law is stated in European Union Directive 1999/93/EC. Turkey has a Government Certificate Authority - Kamu SM for all government agents for their internal use and three independent certificate authorities all of which are issuing qualified digital signatures.
- Kamu Sertifikasyon Merkezi (Governmental Certificate Authority) Kamusm.gov.tr (Turkish)
- E-Güven (owned by Turkish Informatics Foundation) E-guven.com (Turkish)
- Turktrust (owned by Turkish Military Force Solidarity Foundation) Turktrust.com.tr (Turkish) 
- E-Tugra E-tugra.com (Turkish)
Turkey had a recent triumph in digital signatures and become the forerunner of mobile signature, that is, qualified signatures that are created using mobile phones. The leading GSM operator of Turkey, Turkcell, had developed the business model of this service for consumers first in the world.
Court decisions discussing the effect and validity of digital signatures or digital signature-related legislation:
- In re Piranha, Inc., 2003 WL 21468504 (N.D. Tex) (UETA does not preclude a person from contesting that he executed, adopted, or authorized an electronic signature that is purportedly his).
- Cloud Corp. v. Hasbro, 314 F.3d 289 (7th Cir., 2002) EMLF.org (E-SIGN does not apply retroactively to contracts formed before it took effect in 2000. Nevertheless, the statute of frauds was satisfied by the text of E-mail plus an (apparently) written notation.)
- Sea-Land Service, Inc. v. Lozen International, 285 F.3d 808 (9th Cir., 2002) Admiraltylawguide.com (Internal corporate E-mail with signature block, forwarded to a third party by another employee, was admissible over hearsay objection as a party-admission, where the statement was apparently within the scope of the author's and forwarder's employment.)
For books in English on electronic signatures, see:
- Stephen Mason, Electronic Signatures in Law (Tottel, second edition, 2007);
- Dennis Campbell, editor, E-Commerce and the Law of Digital Signatures (Oceana Publications, 2005);
- Lorna Brazell, Electronic Signatures Law and Regulation, (Sweet & Maxwell, 2004);
- M. H. M Schellenkens, Electronic Signatures Authentication Technology from a Legal Perspective, (TMC Asser Press, 2004).
- Srivastava Aashish, Electronic Signatures for B2B Contracts: Evidence from Australia (Springer, 2013)
For translations of electronic signature cases from Europe, Brazil, China and Colombia into English, see the Digital Evidence and Electronic Signature Law Review