Dunn and Larrington: Best Practices for the Authentication of Official Electronic Legal Material

Catherine M. Dunn and Jane Larrington have posted Best Practices for the Authentication of Official Electronic Legal Material.

Here is the abstract:

Many state governments publish primary legal material online, potentially saving money, increasing efficiency, and expanding access to such material. However, the transition away from print raises many important questions about the management of electronic legal information, including issues related to the trustworthiness of the information as it moves from the content originator to the end user. In states publishing primary legal material online, it is critically important that state officials take steps to ensure that the electronic legal information they publish is unaltered and can be verified as authentic. Digital authentication solutions assure users that the material is trustworthy and has not been altered since dissemination by a trusted source.

These best practices, which stem from analyses of other studies and discussions with countless experts in the field, are designed to help cut through the confusion related to the selection, implementation, and maintenance of a digital authentication solution for the electronic publication of official legal material. The authors created these best practices because they are in states on the leading edge of state government publication of official, authentic versions of primary legal material online, and they personally observed a need for this guidance. As such, they created these best practices primarily for use by those charged with implementing and investigating digital authentication solutions, but they may also benefit anyone interested in digital authentication.

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