CERTIFIABLE EVIDENCE OF A E-MAIL MESSAGE TRANSMISSION AND TO PRODUCTION OF A CERTIFICATE OF THAT FACT UPON REQUEST
Original Publication Date: 1999-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2002-Aug-29
Legal evidence for the receipt of a mail message is difficult to obtain whenever the mail transfer sys- tem can not provide a digitally-signed receipt, usual- ly because of network constraints. For example, when two Local Area Network (LAN) enclaves are separated by a firewall (guard), local policy may disallow the use of a signed receipt between the LANs. This is usually the case when the message originator and the message recipient do not both have release authority to the other LAN enclave. The originator of an electronic message has very lit- tle means to obtain concrete evidence that a specific message was indeed received by the designated recipient. The security audit logs of the messaging components provide some evidence that particular operations took place, for example, the recipient being logged into their system. However, the lack of detail in the security audit records affords a message recipient with greater opportunity to repudiate his/her actions and deny ever reading the mail mes- sage.