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electronic seal

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Broader Term: 

n. ~ A technique to demonstrate that the content of an electronic document has not been altered or, in some cases, read.

Notes: 

Electronic seals serve similar functions to physical seals. A seal2, 3 bearing a distinctive mark associated with an individual or office gives the document authenticity. A seal4 on a closed container can prevent unauthorized access, and an unbroken seal on container indicates that no one has had opportunity to alter the thing sealed.

Electronic seals perform similar functions of demonstrating the authenticity of the sender, the unchanged nature of the content, and - in some instances - to protect the content from unauthorized access. Electronic seals usually involve the use of digital signatures, especially public key infrastructure.