Problem with faked-system-time option

Robert J. Hansen rjh at
Thu Jun 16 01:51:27 CEST 2011

On 6/15/11 7:39 PM, MFPA wrote:
> It is corroboration in the same sense that independent witnesses
> attesting to the same thing corroborate each other's story.

Except this isn't a witness: it's the output of a wholly automated
process that has no real connection to temporality except for the ticks
of a system clock which, by everyone's admission, can be set any way the
timestamper wants.

It is no witness at all, in fact -- it doesn't even rise to the level of
a fact.  It is merely a *claim*, unless stipulated by all parties: and
then it becomes something rather more than a claim.

> Unless, of course, you refute the claim by producing evidence that
> shows it to be wrong.

Even that's insufficient.  Show what's *right*.

> Without knowing why my hypothetical parties are seeking to claim
> different signature times, I don't know which is the important thing
> to prove in this imaginary situation.

Then it would seem to me your hypothetical is so poorly considered as to
not warrant further discussion.

> It doesn't cease to be evidence just because it is no longer
> uncontested.

... In point of fact, that's *exactly what happens to it*.

If both parties stipulate to the accuracy of the third-party timestamp,
then it's evidence.  If one party doesn't, then it becomes a *claim*,
and it's up to the jury to decide the strength of the claim.

> Fair enough. But is it so easy to repudiate something like
> ?

I'm fairly sure it is.  Most of the tricks lawyers use to repudiate
timestamps on physical documents also apply against electronic
documents, and I'm pretty sure contract lawyers are worth their paychecks.

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