With more and more of us using digital documents to make day-to-day decisions, there’s an increasing need to make them as secure as possible. Digital signatures provide assurances about the validity and authenticity of a digital document.
Because all of the notices placed in The Gazette have a digital signature, you can check that the information is correct and has not been altered.
What is a digital signature?
Think of a digital signature as an electronic, encrypted, stamp of authentication on digital information. This signature confirms that the information originated from the trusted signer and has not been altered.
What types of digital signatures are used by The Gazette?
The Gazette digital signature for notices is based on the W3C XML signature open standard. The resource description framework (RDF) data representation of the notice and provenance trail has been signed using an RDF signature. All signatures are generated using an X509 certificate (the same technology as used on https:// websites).
The extensible markup language (XML) signature of the notices assures the authenticity of the document content, and that it has not been modified since the notice and signature were downloaded. The RDF signature warrants the RDF data that has been extracted from content, rather than the XML structure of the notice. The signature of the provenance trail verifies that the details of the handling and processing of the notice have not been modified.
The signed Gazette notice, data or provenance trail can be verified using a centralised online service hosted by The Gazette. The verification validates the trust chain of the certificate, as well as the notice or data, to ensure that validated notices can be fully trusted.
How can I check the authenticity of a notice or data?
To check the authenticity of a notice or data you should:
- download the signed document HTML signature for HTML document from the notice page, and save it to your computer
- download the signed RDF document from the notice page and save it to your computer
- download the signed provenance RDF from the notice page, and save it to your computer
The notice, data or provenance trail can then be shared. The recipient, or anybody else who receives the content can verify the authenticity of the content by:
- clicking on the validation heading
- clicking the relevant link from the right-hand side of this page
- uploading the requested document(s)
- clicking the validate button
The Gazette platform will then verify the authenticity of the notice, and whether or not the notice or data has been changed from the version that was downloaded.
More information about digital signatures can be found online: