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Legal basis for the electronic signature

Law 59/2003 of electronic signature

The basic legislation on electronic signature is reflected in the Law 59/2003 of 19th December of Electronic signature.

Art. 3.1) La firma electrónica es el conjunto de datos en forma electrónica, consignados junto a otros o asociados con ellos, que pueden ser utilizados como medio de identificación del firmante.

Moreover, the law distinguishes between two types of signature, ‘ advanced electronic signature ’ and ‘ electronic signature ’:

Art. 3.2) La firma electrónica avanzada es la firma electrónica que permite identificar al firmante y detectar cualquier cambio ulterior de los datos firmados, que está vinculada al firmante de manera única y a los datos a que se refiere y que ha sido creada por medios que el firmante puede mantener bajo su exclusivo control.

(Art. 3.3) Se considera firma electrónica reconocida la firma electrónica avanzada basada en un certificado reconocido y generada mediante un dispositivo seguro de creación de firma.

According to the law, electronic signature es la única que puede ser considerada equivalente a la firma manuscrita:

(Art. 3.4) The electronic signature will take over disclosures in electronic form, the same value as the signature in a relationship with those contained in paper.

Pero ¿cómo conseguimos, en la práctica, que una firma electrónica sea reconocida y por tanto, equivalente a la firma manuscrita?

The Electronic Signature

Una firma electrónica reconocida debe cumplir las siguientes propiedades o requisitos:

  • Identify the signatory.
  • Check the integrity of the document signed.
  • Ensure the non-repudiation at source.
  • Count with the participation of a trusted third party.
  • Be based on an electronic certificate recognized.
  • Must be generated with a device sure creation of signature.

The 4 first points are possible thanks to the use of cryptographic keys contained in the certificate and the existence of a structure of certification Authorities offering confidence in the delivery of certificates. But according to the law 59/2003, these 4 points we only offer a signature advanced.

Para que la firma electrónica sea equivalente a la manuscrita, es decir, que una Firma electrónica sea reconocida, debe además:

Based on a certificate Recognized

El certificado debe haber sido reconocido por el Ministerio de Industria y Comercio como habilitado para crear firmas reconocidas y debe estar listado en su página web como tal.

Se pueden ver todos los certificados reconocidos por el MITyC en la dirección https :// sedeaplicaciones.minetur.gob.es/Suppliers/

Son certificados reconocidos porque tanto el prestador que los emite como el contenido mismo del certificado, cumplen con los requisitos declarados en el Capítulo II de la Ley 59/2003 de firma electrónica sobre Certificados reconocidos.

Be generated with a secure device signature

Las características de un dispositivo seguro de creación de firma están recogidas en el artículo 24 de la Ley 59/2003 de Firma Electrónica.

Principalmente, el dispositivo seguro debe garantizar que las claves sean únicas y secretas, que la clave privada no se puede deducir de la pública y viceversa, que el firmante pueda proteger de forma fiable las claves, que no se altere el contenido del documento original y que el firmante pueda ver qué es lo que va a firmar.

From a technical point of view, according to Article 27 of the law 59/2003, a signature secure device must be certified as that meets the above features according to the technical standards published in decision 2003/511/CE, 14 July 2003 the European commission.

  • El DNI Electrónico es considerado un de firma y por tanto, las firmas generadas con él, son reconocidas y tienen la misma validez que la firma manuscrita. ¿Son reconocidas las firmas generadas en el ordenador con un certificado software instalado en el navegador?
  • Since the computer is not a device sure creation of signing generated signatures are only advanced signatures as defined by the law.

Signature policy

When you sign data, the signatory indicates the acceptance of terms and conditions and special conditions applicable to the electronic signature by the inclusion of a field signed, within the signature, a policy specific explicit or implicit.

If the corresponding field to the rules of electronic signature is absent, and does not identify any applicable law, then you can assume that the signature has been generated or verified without any restriction rules, and consequently, which are not assigned specific meaning no legal or contractual. This would be a signature not explicitly specify any semantics or concrete meaning and, therefore, you need to derive the meaning of the signature from the context (and especially, semantics of document signed).

The purpose of a signature policy is to strengthen trust in the electronic transactions through a series of conditions for a given context, which can be a particular transaction, a legal regime or a role that take part signatory.

For example, the Signature policy for the overall management of the state (AGE) specifies the general conditions applicable to the electronic signature for validation, in the relationship electronic General Administration of the state with citizens and between bodies and entities of the AGE.

Según el artículo 24 del Real Decreto 1671/2009 por el que se desarrolla parcialmente la Ley 11/2007 de Acceso Electrónico de los Ciudadanos a los Servicios Públicos, la política de firma electrónica y certificados en el ámbito de la Administración General del Estado y de sus organismos públicos, está constitu da by the guidelines and technical standards applicable to the use of certificates and electronic signature within its scope.

Interoperability National schema (ENI)

The signature policy has an important role as defined rules and obligations of all the actors involved in the process of signing in specific contexts (contractual, legal, legal, …).

The Royal Decree 4/2010 that regulates the schema interoperability National states that the policy of electronic signature and certificates of the General administration of the state, will serve as a general framework of interoperability for authentication and mutual recognition of electronic signatures within its scope. Also states that this policy may be used as a reference by other public administrations to define policies of certificates and signatures to recognize within their Areas of competence.

National security scheme (NHIS)

The Royal Decree 3/2010 , of January 8th, that regulates the national security Scheme in the area of E-government, aims to the establishment of the principles and requirements of a security policy protection of information.

Well, the decree, in his article 33 also relegated to the policy of Signing the whole function processes finalizing generation, validation and conservation of electronic signatures, as well as the characteristics and requirements to systems of electronic signature, certificates, time-stamping, and other elements of support for signatures.

Moreover, the "in his 5.7.4 annex II point it is very specific about the types of signature that should be applied depending on the level of the information to be protected.

  • Low Level

    You can use any means of electronic signature of the specified in the current legislation.

  • Average

    The means used in the electronic signature will be provided to the qualification of the information treated. In any case:

    Accredited algorithms are used by the National PKIX Centre.

    • Be used, preferably, certificates recognized.
    • Secure devices will be used for signing.

    Will ensure verification and validation de la firma electrónica durante el tiempo requerido por la actividad administrativa que aquélla soporte, sin perjuicio de que se pueda ampliar este período de acuerdo con lo que establezca la política de firma electrónica y de certificados que sea de aplicación. Para tal fin:

    • Se adjuntará a la firma, o se referenciará, toda la información pertinente para su verificación y validación.
    • Protect the signature and the information referred to in the previous paragraph with a time stamp .
    • El organismo que recabe documentos firmados por el administrado verificará y validará la firma recibida en el momento de la recepción, anexando o referenciando sin ambigüedad la información descrita en los epígrafes a) y b).
    • La firma electrónica de documentos por parte de la Administración anexará o referenciará sin ambigüedad la información descrita en los epígrafes a) y b).
  • High Level

    Apply security measures relating to electronic signature due on the average level, in addition to the following:

    • Certificates will be used.
    • Secure devices are used to create signature.
    • Be used, preferably, certified products [op.pl.5].

    The CCN-STIC-807 rule National PKIX centre provides in 5.7 what mechanisms and algorithms that can be used to sign depending on the level of information.

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