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Re: [vox] Are GPG signatures legally binding signatures in California?
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Re: [vox] Are GPG signatures legally binding signatures in California?

>From the little that I know, I think so.

But, as a caveat, it depends on what you're using the signature for. 
>From reading the snippet, it seems to say that a digital signature can
be used as a legal signature for communicating with a 'public entity'.

It would depend, though, on what your signature would be used for.  If
two parties were signing contracts, and the PGP signature could be used
in place of a pen-made signature, if both parties agree.

But in cases where one party would not accept a digital sig, it seems
to me like it wouldn't be a substitute for a pen-made sig (and hence
not legal).

After discussion with our in-house counsel, this is about how the law
is interpreted (yea, but don't go looking for legal advice from me,
though, IANAL, and ya-ya-ya).  

So it is completely legal to use a digital signature in place of a
pen-scribed signature (assuming the digital signature complies with all
the required characteristics, and that both parties agree to the
digital signing).  

It's really no different than using a pin number to withdraw money from
the ATM:  in the old days, you would have to sign a withdrawl slip to
withdraw money from your account.  That didn't work with ATM's, so they
invented the idea of the PIN number (your "digital" signature) for
conducting transactions with your bank.  They can verify that your card
was used with your PIN, and hence this system is legally verifiable as
if you had signed a deposit slip.  Both you and your bank agree, and it
is a legal transaction.

Gah, what a long explanation, but with lawyers and anything legal, you
should get used to it :)

--hope that clarifies the issue (write back if you have a specific
situation or issue, and feel free to write me off list if need be)

--- Ken Bloom <kabloom@ucdavis.edu> wrote:

> Are GPG signatures legally binding signatures in California pursuant
> to
> California Government Code 16.5
> http://www.ss.ca.gov/digsig/code165.htm?
> Does anybody know? (Does anybody have a lawyer they could ask?)
> --Ken Bloom
> -- 
> I usually have a GPG digital signature included as an attachment.
> See http://www.gnupg.org/ for info about these digital signatures.

> ATTACHMENT part 1.2 application/pgp-signature 
> _______________________________________________
> vox mailing list
> vox@lists.lugod.org
> http://lists.lugod.org/mailman/listinfo/vox

I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.
    Martin Luther King Jr., Accepting Nobel Peace Prize, Dec. 10, 1964

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