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Burdens of ProofCryptographic Culture and Evidence Law in the Age of Electronic Documents$
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Jean-Francois Blanchette

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780262017510

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262017510.001.0001

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Paper and State

Paper and State

(p.122) (p.123) 6 Paper and State
Burdens of Proof

Jean-François Blanchette

The MIT Press

This chapter examines the experiences of three bureaucratic organizations as they struggle with the application of electronic signatures to real estate contracts, birth certificates, and land titles. It suggests that the divergent routes in the computerization of these documents highlight the need to pay attention to the specific material conditions and institutional contexts that govern the production of written evidence. It also argues that the technical conditions necessary for the long-term legibility of electronic documents present a serious challenge to the forensic value of cryptographic signature verification.

Keywords:   electronic signatures, real estate contracts, birth certificates, land titles, written evidence, electronic documents, forensic value, cryptographic signature

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