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There are two kinds of digital signatures: signatures good enough for a six dollar trade among friends, and signatures good enough for a six figure trade between strangers. This Article considers both, from the digital equivalent of an initialed placemat to secure verification techniques more like notarizations. Nationally and internationally, diverse groups and bodies have been propelling the development of digital signature and certificate authority regulation and legislation. This Article examines the need for such legislation, questioning the assumption that current law presents, at best, uncertainties or, at worst, outright barriers to the use of electronic records and signatures. This analysis attempts to determine the extent of such uncertainty or conflict, by examining case law, as well as the most crucial technological and policy issues that face the drafters of digital signature legislation. Finally, the major statutes, drafts, and model laws are evaluated with regard to their efficacy in addressing the concerns so identified.


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19 Oct 2022
332 kB



  • Subject
    • Banking and Finance Law

    • Intellectual Property Law

    • Science and Technology Law

  • Journal title
    • Boston College Intellectual Property and Technology Forum

  • Volume
    • 1999

  • Pagination
    • 1-69

  • Date submitted

    19 October 2022

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