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Digital Signatures and the Law

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The US Digital Signature Standard

The Digital Signature Standard (DSS) is a cryptographic standard promulgated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in 1994. It has been adopted as the federal standard for authenticating electronic documents, much as a written signature verifies the authenticity of a paper document. The DSS was the first cryptographic standard developed under the regime established by the Computer Security Act, which was intended to limit the role of the National Security Agency (NSA) in the development of civilian standards. Documents obtained by EPIC under the Freedom of Information Act have demonstrated that the DSS development process was, in fact, dominated by NSA.

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