The role of the notary in secure electronic commerce

Smith, Leslie Gordon (2006) The role of the notary in secure electronic commerce. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


The profession of the notary is at a cross roads. The Notary operates in a world of paperbased transactions where the use of traditional signatures and seals are mandatory. The practices and procedures which have evolved over centuries simply cannot be applied directly in a digital environment.

Establishing a framework for the authentication of computer-based information in today's commercial environment requires a familiarity with concepts and professional skills from both the legal and computer security fields. Combining these two disciplines is not an easy task. Concepts from the information security field often correspond only loosely with concepts from the legal field, even in situations where the terminology is similar.

This thesis explores the history of the Notary, the fundamental concepts of e-commerce, the importance of the digital or electronic signature and the role of the emerging &quotCyber" or &quotElectronic" Notary (E-Notary) in the world of electronic commerce. The research investigates whether or not the functions of the &quotNotary Public" can successfully evolve in the world of E-Commerce, and if so what are the ramifications.

This thesis comprises a survey and critical analysis of proposed architectures and implementations for &quotElectronic Notary Services" in an Internet based, electronic commerce environment. It includes an analysis of relevant historical and legal factors relevant to these emerging technologies. Given the highly dynamic nature of this topic, this thesis does not propose or recommend a single architecture or implementation but emphasises the need for further research not only into technological factors but also into the real legal and social needs that affect the role of the E-Notary.

The approach undertaken was an analytical approach to the available current documentation against input from leading practitioners included practicing Notaries from Australia, the United States and the Court of Faculties - London.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 16407
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Caelli, William & McCullagh, Adrian
Keywords: Notarial act, Notary, electronic commerce, e-commerce, information security, digital information
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Division of Research and Commercialisation
Past > Institutes > Information Security Institute
Department: Cross-Faculty Collaboration
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Leslie Gordon Smith
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 04:02
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:47

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