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Digital Signature Act 1997 [Act 562]

Part V   cite [+]

EFFECT OF DIGITAL SIGNATURE

62 Satisfaction of signature requirements   cite [+]

(1) Where a rule of law requires a signature or provides for certain consequences in the absence of a signature, that rule shall be satisfied by a digital signature where-

(a) that digital signature is verified by reference to the public key listed in a valid certificate issued by a licensed certification authority;

(b) that digital signature was affixed by the signer with the intention of signing the message; and

(c) the recipient has no knowledge or notice that the signer-

(i) has breached a duty as a subscriber; or

(ii) does not rightfully hold the private key used to affix the digital signature.


(2) Notwithstanding any written law to the contrary-

(a) a document signed with a digital signature in accordance with this Act shall be as legally binding as a document signed with a handwritten signature, an affixed thumbprint or any other mark; and

(b) a digital signature created in accordance with this Act shall be deemed to be a legally binding signature.


(3) Nothing in this Act shall preclude any symbol from being valid as a signature under any other applicable law.

63 Unreliable digital signatures   cite [+]

(1) Unless otherwise provided by law or contract, the recipient of a digital signature assumes the risk that a digital signature is forged, if reliance on the digital signature is not reasonable under the circumstances.

(2) Where the recipient determines not to rely on a digital signature under this section, the recipient shall promptly notify the signer of its determination not to rely on a digital signature and the grounds for that determination.

64 Digitally signed message deemed to be written document   cite [+]

(1) A message shall be as valid, enforceable and effective as if it had been written on paper if-

(a) it bears in its entirety a digital signature; and

(b) that digital signature is verified by the public key listed in a certificate which-

(i) was issued by a licensed certification authority; and

(ii) was valid at the time the digital signature was created.


(2) Nothing in this Act shall preclude any message, document, or record from being considered written or in writing under any other applicable law.

65 Digitally signed message deemed to be original document   cite [+]

A copy of a digitally signed message shall be as valid, enforceable and effective as the original of the message unless it is evident that the signer designated an instance of the digitally signed message to be a unique original, in which case only that instance constitutes the valid, enforceable and effective message.

66 Authentication of digital signatures   cite [+]

A certificate issued by a licensed certification authority shall be an acknowledgement of a digital signature verified by reference to the public key listed in the certificate, regardless of whether words of an express acknowledgement appear with the digital signature and regardless of whether the signer physically appeared before the licensed certification authority when the digital signature was created, if that digital signature is-

(a) verifiable by that certificate; and

(b) affixed when that certificate was valid.

67 Presumptions in adjudicating disputes   cite [+]

In adjudicating a dispute involving a digital signature, a court shall presume-

(a) that a certificate digitally signed by a licensed certification authority and-

(i) published in a recognized repository; or

(ii) made available by the issuing licensed certification authority or by the subscriber listed in the certificate,

is issued by the licensed certification authority which digitally signed it and is accepted by the subscriber listed in it;

(b) that the information listed in a valid certificate and confirmed by a licensed certification authority issuing the certificate is accurate;

(c) that where a digital signature is verified by the public key listed in a valid certificate issued by a licensed certification authority-

(i) that digital signature is the digital signature of the subscriber listed in that certificate;

(ii) that digital signature was affixed by that subscriber with the intention of signing the message; and

(iii) the recipient of that digital signature has no knowledge or notice that the signer-

(A) has breached a duty as a subscriber; or

(B) does not rightfully hold the private key used to affix the digital signature; and

(d) that a digital signature was created before it was time-stamped by a recognized date/time stamp service utilizing a trustworthy system.



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