Digital signatures are key to e-mail security
Digital signatures based on electronic certificates confirm a sender's identity through a third-party certificate agency as well as the authenticity of the content through the same mathematical process that provides identity information. Digitally signed e-mail is not the same as nonrepudiation or authenticating a document, which fall under the federal government's E-Sign Act of 2000. The E-Sign Act defines the legal structures for electronic signatures in online transactions, which don't apply to everyday e-mail messages.
By Curtis Franklin Jr. at Network World.
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