Israel introduced Electronic Signature Law in 2001. The law is introduced to give an impetus to e-governance and e-commerce in Israel. Major government projects where the electronic signature is implemented are –
1. Reports made by public companies to the Israeli Security Authority and Tel Aviv Stock Exchange must be digitally signed.
2. Value Added Tax report submitted to Tax Authority must be digitally signed.
3. Court System – electronic filing of documents
4. Patents and Trademark – electronic filing of documents
5. Customs – electronic filing of documents
“The law distinguishes between Secured Electronic Signature and Certified Electronic Signature.”
Secure electronic signature meets following requirement:
1. It is unique to the owner of signing device
2. It enables apparent identification of owner
3. It enables identification of any change to electronic subsequent to signing
When we say Certified Electronic Signature, Certification Authority (CA) comes into picture. Certification Authority issues electronic certificates (public key) as per compliance to standards and maintains a registry under the provision of Law. If the signature is compromised, then the user only needs to inform CA, which the includes the signature in Certificate Revocataion List (CRL).
It may be noted that India follows Tiered Electronic Signature Law whereas Israel follow prescriptive Electronic Signature Law. In contrast to Indian IT Act which is progressively introducing technically and regulatorily more stringent signature, Israel has recently amended its law for simplification. The Israeli law states that electronic signature even a simple one can potentially comply with any legal requirements for a signature – “provided that the purposes underlying the signature requirement found in the law, are achieved with sufficient certainty under the circumstances”.
In addition, the new amendment states that where a contracting party has greater influence on determining the electronic signing method used to execute the contract, that party bears the burden of proving that the counter-party has in fact signed the contract. The amendment has larger ramifications leading to wider acceptance of electronic signatures.