Posts in Category "References"

“The train has left the station!” – Electronic Signatures in the Real World

This entry is part of our continuing educational series, “What is an Electronic Signature, Anyway?” (Parts 1, 2 and 3.)

In June, at an event at the National Press Club, Jerry Buckley, Founding Partner at the Buckley Kolar law firm in Washington DC, as well as Counsel to the Electronic Signatures and Records Association (ESRA), an organization devoted to promulgating the use of electronic signatures & documents and educating the public & industry on those matters, stated that the “train had left the station” when it came to electronic signature usage around the world. As the demand for more fully electronic workflows becomes more pronounced, especially given the meteoric rise in gas, and thus shipping, prices, as well as an increasing desire on the part of enterprises and organizations to ‘go green,’ electronic signatures will become even more ubiquitous.

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The benefits of rights management

Adobe recently published a whitepaper that highlights some of the features and benefits of using Rights Management. It provides a variety of anonymous case studies across industries that showcase how LiveCycle Rights Management ES can be applied across industries to minimize risk while increasing the effectiveness of communication.

Highlights of the case studies include:

  • Using the authentication SDK to allow custom integration with third-party authentication systems. By leveraging customers’ non-LDAP authentication infrastructure it reduced the cost to deploy and ensured the solution was non-disruptive.
  • Policy-based control enables flexibility in document usage via seven-day lease and IP address restrictions
  • Using the authorization SDK for native PLM integration, thereby extending the boundary of PLM control to documents regardless of whether they are on laptops, on file servers, or in email.
  • Helping to ensure only the most recent document version is available, regardless of distribution.
  • Secure offline access: viewing protected documents on a laptop with no network access. Authorized users can view only the latest versions of documents while on planes or in the field.
  • Smart card authentication: using multifactor authentication to increase security in high-risk environments.
  • Watermarking: help ensure printed documents reference employee name and timestamp of print to keep employees honest, as well as provide a trail of activity.
  • Audit SDK – View document access usage log data and perform trend analysis.

You can find the paper here.

Questions or feedback on this entry? Contact us at

Need more information on how your organization can effectively manage and protect your intellectual property? Further information can be obtained at or by contacting Adobe

Digital Courtroom: Tribunale di Cremona

A new case study is available showcasing Tribunale di Cremona, one of the Courts within the District of Tribunale di Brescia, using Adobe Connect with Adobe LiveCycle solutions to support an end-to-end process for holding legal proceedings with dispersed parties and efficiently delivering all required case documents.

In addition to supporting dynamic web conferences with streaming audio and video, Adobe solutions deliver other benefits to the Digital Connect project. For instance, the court can store court papers for each trial in Adobe PDF; plus staff can handle documents remotely and securely via digital signature authentication.

These capabilities are handled by Adobe LiveCycle solutions to address the need to assign policy controls to protect documents.

“These features are critical,” says Beluzzi. “A trial transcript can be shared among participants, downloaded, digitally signed just as if participants were physically next to each other. In addition, the transcript goes through a workflow and is automatically added to the remaining court papers.”

The project is the result of a productive collaboration with Adobe. First electronic court papers, then web conferencing-based court trials give the Italian justice system a new image: fast, efficient, and on time.

“By collaborating with Adobe and using products such as Adobe Policy Server, Adobe LiveCycle Workflow, and Adobe Connect, the court is designing a powerful system that can be replicated in other areas without customization,” says Beluzzi. “This is important because it allows Tribunale di Cremona to achieve great results with limited efforts, without developing ad hoc software.”

The Court has documented the excellent cost benefits of the system. The total cost of training and traveling for detainees and lawyers is about €467,000 a year. Using Digital Connect to perform trials and to train employees could save the Court over €1 million in three years.

US Government Printing Office Deploys Digital Signatures for FY2009 Budget

Today the United States Government Printing Office (GPO)  deployed digital signatures in Adobe PDF for the release of The Budget of the U.S. Government, Fiscal Year 2009.

The Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released a statement stating this is the first time the White House will not order hard copy versions of the budget, and has instead posted the budget online as fully searchable PDF documents. 

With an estimated total of nearly 2,200 pages in the four-book budget set, and a projected order of more than 3,000 copies for the media, Capitol Hill and the White House, the E-Budget will have a “green” focus above and beyond the fiscal sense. This step will save nearly 20 tons of paper, or roughly 480 trees. In terms of fiscal savings, we estimate the E-Budget will save nearly a million dollars over the next five years.

GPO has implemented a new digital seal of authenticity for their PDF documents, including today’s release of the FY2009 budget:

For almost 150 years, the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) has been the official disseminator of Government documents and has assured users of their authenticity.

In the 21st century, the increasing use of electronic documents poses special challenges in verifying authenticity, because digital technology makes such documents easy to alter or copy, leading to multiple non-identical versions that can be used in unauthorized or illegitimate ways.

To help meet the challenge of the digital age, GPO has begun implementing digital signatures to certain electronic documents on GPO Access that not only establish GPO as the trusted information disseminator, but also provide the assurance that an electronic document has not been altered since GPO disseminated it.

The visible digital signatures on online PDF documents serve the same purpose as handwritten signatures or traditional wax seals on printed documents. A digital signature, viewed through the GPO Seal of Authenticity, verifies document integrity and authenticity on GPO online Federal documents, at no cost to the customer.

More information on GPO’s authentication program is available at

Opening the Nation’s Fiscal Outlook from GPO Access with Acrobat 8.1.1 on Windows XP SP2:

Opening the Nation’s Fiscal Outlook with Acrobat 8.1.1 on Mac OS X 10.5.1 (Leopard)

The digital signatures on the GPO documents automatically validate with Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader version 7 and higher on Mac and Windows, via the Certified Document Service (CDS) program. No additional software or configuration is required to validate CDS signatures. 

There are several ways recipients can verify the signature status.  First is the document message bar across the top of the document, showing the certifying blue ribbon as well as information contained in the signer’s certificate:

The left navigation panel also has an icon of a pen over paper, which brings up the digital signature pane, showing additional information on the document signature:

Clicking on the GPO document seal in the PDF will also bring up the Signature Validation Status:

Clicking on that Signature Properties button above provides even more detail of the signature, including the authenticity, integrity, and timestamping indicators – with the ability to drill down deeper to review revocation status, certificate chaining, and other security information associated with the signature.

For digital signatures to automatically validate in Acrobat and Reader, the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) certificates must have been issued by a Certificate Authority (CA) participating in the CDS Program. These CAs comply with the Adobe CDS Certificate Policy.  This is a program Adobe released in 2003 with Acrobat and Reader 6.  The CA/Browser Forum released a program with similar intentions for web browser SSL sites in 2007. 

Certifying signatures can be applied to PDF documents on the desktop using Adobe Acrobat, or on the server using Adobe LiveCycle Digital Signatures.  Recipient’s approval signatures can also be applied using Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader (via Adobe LiveCycle Reader Extensions) and then subsequently validated on the server with Adobe LiveCycle Digital Signatures as part of an automated workflow process.

Adobe Systems has been providing security technologies in PDF for over a dozen years.  Adobe uses FIPS 140 approved cryptography, has been approved by the US Department of Defense, and certified by the SAFE BioPharma Association. Adobe’s security solutions are also supported by a strong partner ecosystem to extend the native capabilities of authentication through hardware and software integration.