Delaware governor signs digital signature bill

Delaware governor signs digital signature bill

By Trudy Walsh

GCN Staff

JULY 17'On Friday, the First State was the first state to enact legislation that recognizes digital notarization and time stamping in electronic-commerce transactions.

Delaware Gov. Thomas R. Carper digitally signed and electronically notarized the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, which recognizes the legal validity of digital signatures and notarization for e-commerce.

The half-hour ceremony in Wilmington, Del., was webcast live over the state's Web site, at www.state.de.us. In addition to Carper, Delaware Secretary of State Edward J. Freel and Treasurer Jack Markell attended the ceremony.

Carper used Digital Notary Service software from Surety.com of Reston, Va., to sign and notarize the act. The software uses a hashing algorithm that produces a short, fixed-length string of bits, or hash values, that represent pieces of digital data. Surety.com officials describe the hash values as 'unique as a fingerprint.' The software, which runs under Microsoft Windows NT and Windows 2000, stamps the date and time at which a document is electronically signed. This electronic stamp cannot be tampered with without detection, company officials said.

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