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How to time-stamp a digital document


The prospect of a world in which all text, audio, picture, and video documents are in digital form on easily modifiable media raises the issue of how to certify when a document was created or last changed. The problem is to time-stamp the data, not the medium. We propose computationally practical procedures for digital time-stamping of such documents so that it is infeasible for a user either to back-date or to forward-date his document, even with the collusion of a time-stamping service. Our procedures maintain complete privacy of the documents themselves, and require no record-keeping by the time-stamping service.

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Haber, S., Stornetta, W.S. How to time-stamp a digital document. J. Cryptology 3, 99–111 (1991). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00196791

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Key words

  • Time-stamp
  • Hash