January 4, 2013 The Honorable Yaakov Neeman, Minister of Justice and Attorney Michal Teneh Freedom of Information Officer

and Director of the Public Communications Ministry of Justice 29 Salah A-Din Street By email:Hofesh.Meida@justice.gov.il Pniyot.Tzibur@justice.gov.il Response within 14 days is kindly requested. RE: Freedom of Information Request (46-‫ ,)ת‬in re: Secure electronic signatures of officers of the Ministry of Justice of the State officers Dear Minister of Justice Neeman: The undersigned is in receipt of the Ministry of Justice response, dated November 13, 2012, and poststamped December 26, 2012, [1] on Freedom of Information request (46/T), first filed on June 27, 2012, pertaining to secure electronic signatures of officers of the Ministry of Justice. [2] The request includes three articles, quoted and numbered below. Inadequate responses were provided by the Ministry of Justice on all three articles: a) The request says:
A paper and/or digital copy of the secure electronic signature of Attorney Yoram HaCohen, as it appears on page 6 of the Annual Report of the “Registrar of Databases” for 2006-7 (attached). The respective record was published, but the signature was redacted. In place of the signature the following text appears in Hebrew: 'The original bears a secure electronic signature.' Therefore, the request is for a copy of the secure electronic signature, as it appears on the Report.

The response says: " Attached is the report, which was filed by Attorney Yoram HaCohen, including 'copy of the secure electronic signature.'" The record, which was provided as an attachment to the response, is the same redacted document that was provided with the Freedom of Information Request. The attachment includes no visible electronic signature of Attorney Yoram HaCohen. The paper record, which is provided in the response, includes no 'copy of the secure electronic signature.' Furthermore, the attached untitled guidelines page (see also c, below) in section 1. Methods of Signature, Paragraph, 1.1., states: "Executing such signatures… constitutes reasonable execution of the instructions of the Regulations of Evidence (photocopies) 1969." The same attachment in the same paragraph also states [underline added - jz]: "Information regarding such signatures shall not be displayed, unless the validity of the scanning process is challenged". [underline added - jz] The requested document (Annual Report of the “Registrar of Databases” for 2006-7) is intended for use as evidence and as a legal document. Moreover, the request is intended as a challenge to the validity of the document, copy of which was published online and which was again provided in the response. 1/3

Therefore, your office is kindly requested to provide a copy of the requested record, on which the electronic signature of Attorney Yoram HaCohen is displayed. In case there is technical difficulty in printing on paper a copy of the record, which displays the electronic signature, request is again made for the production of an electronic copy (PDF), by email, or on suitable electronic media by mail. b) The request says:
A paper and/or digital copy of the secure electronic signature of one of the current officers of the Ministry of Justice on one recent legal public record of the State of Israel.

The response includes no record, pertaining to this article. Relative to this article, the response letter says: "Pertaining to paragraph b) in your request, the subject is a private signature instrument of the state employee…" To the degree that such response invokes any privacy rights, relative to the public display of executed electronic signatures of Ministry of Justice officers on legal public records, the office is kindly requested to provide the legal foundation for such claims. In case there is no legal foundation for such claims, the office is again asked to provide the requested record. c) The request says:
Any and all records, including, but not limited to orders, instructions, guidelines, or manuals, which provide officers of the Ministry of Justice of the State of Israel information regarding the use of their a) secure electronic signature, b) hand signature, or c) no signature at all, in communications with a) the courts, b) other executive branch officers, c) the legislature, d) the public at large, and e) in publications on the web.

The response says: "Regarding paragraph c) of your request, the rules, pertaining to this matter, are found in the Electronic Signature Act -2001 and the respective Regulations, where rules exist for validity of secure electronic signature. Additionally, use is made of secure electronic signatures during the scanning process, and attached are the relevant guidelines." The response includes a single, untitled, unreferenced page, which appears as an extract from an unidentified, longer record. The Ministry of Justice is kindly requested to provide the entire record, from which the page was extracted. Additionally, as stated in the response itself, the page which was provided in the response, pertains to secure electronic signatures on records that are received on paper by the Ministry of Justice and then scanned into electronic databases. The request is for instructions, guidelines, etc, pertaining to records that are originally produced by the Ministry of Justice officers. For example, all legal public records that were reviewed, had the electronic signatures redacted. The page, which provided with the response, says, ""Information regarding such signatures shall not be displayed".[underline added - jz] The Electronic Signature Act (2001) and respective the Regulations include no such stipulation at all. Therefore, request is for instructions, guidelines, etc, which are the basis of the practice of redacting all electronic signatures of Ministry of Justice officers from all legal public records. Furthermore, your response letter says, "Pertaining to paragraph b) in your request, the subject is a private signature instrument of the state employee…". The Electronic Signature Act (2001) and respective the Regulations include no such stipulation at all. Therefore, the request in c) pertains also to any instructions, guidelines, etc, which may be the basis for such statement. 2/3

Given the long delays in providing the initial response on instant Freedom of Information Request, it is hoped that the response on instant communication will be expediently provided. Thanks again for your help. Truly, Joseph Zernik, PhD PO Box 31440 Jerusalem 91313 Email: jz12345@earthlink.net LINKS:
[1] 12-11-13 Ministry of Justice Freedom of Information response (46-‫ ,)ת‬in re: Electronic Signatures http://www.scribd.com/doc/118853026/ [2] 12-06-27 Freedom of Information Request (46/T) on the Ministry of Justice, in re: Secure electronic signatures of officers of the Ministry of Justice of the State officers http://es.scribd.com/doc/98529841/

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