BILL NUMBER: AB 1577	CHAPTERED
	BILL TEXT

	CHAPTER   594
	FILED WITH SECRETARY OF STATE   OCTOBER 4, 1995
	APPROVED BY GOVERNOR   OCTOBER 4, 1995
	PASSED THE ASSEMBLY   SEPTEMBER 5, 1995
	PASSED THE SENATE   SEPTEMBER 1, 1995
	AMENDED IN SENATE   AUGUST 21, 1995
	AMENDED IN SENATE   JULY 18, 1995
	AMENDED IN SENATE   JUNE 19, 1995
	AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY   MAY 30, 1995
	AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY   MAY 15, 1995
	AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY   MAY 2, 1995

INTRODUCED BY  Assembly Member Bowen
   (Principal coauthor:  Assembly Member Cunneen)

                        FEBRUARY 24, 1995

   An act to add Section 16.5 to the Government Code, relating to
digital signatures.


	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   AB 1577, Bowen.  Digital signatures.
   Existing statutes do not generally govern the authenticity and
verification of electronic or similar data intended to act as a
signature, except in the case of electronic fund transfers in
nonconsumer situations in which case existing law provides for
security procedures related to verification of authenticity of
orders.
   This bill would provide that, in any written communication with a
public entity, a signature may be affixed using a digital signature
and that in those communications, the use of a digital signature
would have the same force and effect as the use of a manual signature
if it complies with the bill's requirements, including a requirement
that it conform to regulations to be adopted by the Secretary of
State.  The bill would exempt certain reports relating to
environmental protection.  The bill would define a digital signature.


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:


  SECTION 1.  Section 16.5 is added to the Government Code, to read:

   16.5.  (a) In any written communication with a public entity, as
defined in Section 811.2, in which a signature is required or used,
any party to the communication may affix a signature by use of a
digital signature that complies with the requirements of this
section.  The use of a digital signature shall have the same force
and effect as the use of a manual signature if and only if it
embodies all of the following attributes:
   (1) It is unique to the person using it.
   (2) It is capable of verification.
   (3) It is under the sole control of the person using it.
   (4) It is linked to data in such a manner that if the data are
changed, the digital signature is invalidated.
   (5) It conforms to regulations adopted by the Secretary of State.
Initial regulations shall be adopted no later than January 1, 1997.
In developing these regulations, the secretary shall seek the advice
of public and private entities, including, but not limited to, the
Department of Information Technology, the California Environmental
Protection Agency, and the Department of General Services.  Before
the secretary adopts the regulations, he or she shall hold at least
one public hearing to receive comments.
   (b) The use or acceptance of a digital signature shall be at the
option of the parties.  Nothing in this section shall require a
public entity to use or permit the use of a digital signature.
   (c) Digital signatures employed pursuant to Section 71066 of the
Public Resources Code are exempted from this section.
   (d) "Digital signature" means an electronic identifier, created by
computer, intended by the party using it to have the same force and
effect as the use of a manual signature.