Derecho japones. Ley sobre Firmas Electrónicas y Servicios de Certificación.

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Law Concering Electronic Signatures and Certification Services

(Unofficial Translation)

Contents

Outline of Law Concerning Electronic Signatures and Certification Services

Chapter 1: General provisions (Article 1 and Article 2)

Chapter 2: Presumption of the authenticity of an electro-magnetic records (Article

3)

Chapter 3: Accreditation, etc. of designated certification services

Section 1: Accreditation of designated certification services (Article 4 through

Article 14)

Section 2: Accreditation of designated certification services provided in foreign

countries (Article 15 and Article 16)

Chapter 4: Designated investigating organization, etc.

Section 1: Designated investigating organization (Article 17 through Article 30)

Section 2: Approved investigating organization (Article 31 and Article 32)

Chapter 5: Miscellaneous provisions (Article 33 through Article 40)

Chapter 6: Penalties (Article 41 through Article 47)

Supplemental provisions

Outline of Law Concerning Electronic Signatures and Certification Services

  1. Purpose

    To promote the diffusion of information using electromagnetic-electronic methods and information processing through securing the smooth utilization of electronic signatures, and thereby to contribute to the improvement of the citizen’s quality of life of the people and the sound development of the national economy, by the presumption of the genuine establishment authenticity of electromagnetic records, the provisions for voluntary accreditation with regard to designated of certification services and the prescription of other necessary matters concerning electronic signatures.

  2. Contents

    (1) Presumption of the authenticity genuine establishment of electromagnetic records

    A provision to the effect that if when a certain electronic signature by the person who performed the electronic signature with regard to information recorded in an electromagnetic record is performed by a specific person in relation to information recorded in an electromagnetic record, the electromagnetic record that was created in order to represent information shall be presumed to have been authentic-genuinely established.

    * Electronic signature: an encrypted, etc. measure used to indicate the creator with regard to information recorded in an electromagnetic record and that is conducted by a method that can verify whether or not any alteration of said information has been performed. a cryptographic or similar measure which has the objective of indicating the creator of information recorded in an electronic record, and which is capable of providing verification of change if the record is changed.

    (2) Provisions for accreditation of designated certification services

    i. Accreditation of designated certification services

    Provisions to the effect that, among certification services (services that verify that information used to confirm an electronic signature belongs to the person who performed the electronic signature), those that fulfil certain requirements shall be defined as “Designated Certification Services”, and that a person seeking to perform certification service may receive the accreditation of a related competent ministers (three ministers). To this end, provisions that set out the requirements for accreditation, the duties of persons performing designated-accredited certification services, the mark that may be used to indicate the receipt of accreditation, etc. are enacted.

    (Further, provisions are made so that persons who have been sentenced to a penalty of imprisonment or greater, persons who have been punished for violating this Law, persons whose accreditation has been revoked, etc. may not receive accreditation for a prescribed period.)

    ii. Treatment of foreign certification services

    Foreign certification service providers are also able to receive accreditation under this Law. In addition, an exception is established to the effect that certification service providers who have received an accreditation in a foreign country that is similar to accreditation under this Law can receive accreditation under this Law through simplified written procedures in cases where there is a treaty between Japan and said foreign country or another international agreement. (Internationally compatible certification mutual recognition)

    iii. Designated investigative organ

    Provisions to the effect that, in carrying out the accreditation of a certification services, a competent related ministers may have a designated person (the designated investigative organ) perform the whole or part of the investigation.

    (3) Other necessary items

    i. Support, etc. for designated certification service

    Provisions to the effect that, in order to promote the smooth implementation of the accreditation provisions of concerning the designated certification service, a related competent ministers shall conduct surveys and research with respect to the evaluation of the technologies associated with electronic signatures and the certification service and strive to provide necessary information, advice and other support to persons performing designated certification service and users.

    ii. Public education activities and public information activities directed toward the citizenry

    Provisions to the effect that, through public education activities and public information activities, the national government shall strive to deepen the citizens’ understanding of electronic signatures and the certification services.

    iii. Role of the National Public Safety Commission

    Provisions to the effect that, when the National Public Safety Commission it finds it necessary to prevent serious harm from occurring in connection with an accredited certification service, the National Public Safety Commission may request ire the related at a competent ministers to take necessary measures.

    iv. Penalty Provisions

    Provisions to the effect that a sentence of no more than three years of penal servitude or a fine of not more than two million yen shall be imposed for an act whereby a user causes an accredited certification provider, etc. to make perform a false certification-verification.

  3. Date of enforcement

    April 1, 2001

    Chapter 1: General provisions

    Article 1: Purpose

    This law aims to promote the diffusion of information using electronic methods and information processing through securing the smooth utilization of electronic signatures, and thereby to contribute to the improvement of the citizen’s quality of life and the sound development of the national economy, by establishing such provisions as the presumption of the authenticity of electro-magnetic records, the provisions for accreditation with regard to designated certification services and the prescription of other necessary matters concerning electronic signatures.

    Article 2: Definitions

    For the purpose of this law, “electronic signature” shall mean a measure taken with regard to information that can be recorded in an electro-magnetic record (here and hereinafter, any record which is produced by electronic, magnetic, or any other means unrecognisable by natural perceptive function, and is used for data-processing by a computer) and to which both of the following requirements applies:

    i. is a measure to indicate that the information was created by the person who performed

    the measure; and

    ii. is a measure that can confirm whether or not any alteration of the information has been performed.

  4. For the purpose of this law, “certification service” shall mean a service that, in compliance with either the request of a person who uses such service (hereinafter referred to as “user”) with regard to the electronic signature that he himself performs or the request of another person, certifies that an item used to confirm that the user performed an electronic signature belongs to the user.

  5. For the purpose of this law, “designated certification service” shall mean a certification service that is performed with regard to those electronic signatures that conform to the standards prescribed by the ordinance of the related ministries as ones that, according to the method thereof, can only be substantially performed by that person.

    Chapter 2: Presumption of the authenticity of an electro-magnetic record

    Article 3:

    An electro-magnetic record which is made in order to express information (with the exception of one drawn by a public official in the exercise of his official functions) shall be presumed to be authentic if an electronic signature (limited to those that, if based on the proper control of the codes and objects necessary to perform the signature, only that person can substantially perform) is performed by the principal in relation to information recorded in the electro-magnetic record.

    Chapter 3: Accreditation, etc. of designated certification services

    Section 1: Accreditation of designated certification services

    Article 4: Accreditation

    A person seeking to perform or has been performing designated certification service may receive an accreditation from the related ministers.

  6. A person seeking to receive an accreditation stipulated in the preceding paragraph shall, in accordance with the prescriptions of the ordinance of the related ministries, file with the related ministers an application form that states the following facts as well as other documents prescribed by the ordinance of the related ministries:

    i. the name and address, and if a organization, the name of its representative;

    ii. an outline of the facilities used for the service applied for accreditation, and the method of implementation of the service applied for accreditation.

  7. When the related ministers have granted the accreditation stipulated in paragraph 1, the ministers shall make an announcement of that fact.

    Article 5: Disqualification provisions

    A person to whom any of the following numbered items applies may not receive the accreditation stipulated in paragraph 1 of the preceding article:

    i. a person who has been sentenced to a penalty of imprisonment or...

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