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The National Institute of Standards and Technology has announced proposed changes to a standard that specifies how to implement digital signatures, which can be used to ensure the integrity of electronic documents, such as wills and contracts, as well as the identity of the signer.

The comment period on the proposal is open until May 25. Both FIPS 186-3 and a separate four-page document outlining the proposed changes are available at http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/PubsDrafts.html.

These proposed changes to the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 186-3, known as the Digital Signature Standard, were posted for public comment on April 10. The proposed revisions provide clarification on how to implement the digital signature algorithms approved in the standard: the Digital Signature Algorithm (DSA), the Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA) and the Rivest-Shamir-Adelman algorithm (RSA).

Included in the proposed revision is allowing the use of additional, approved random number generators, which are used to generate the cryptographic keys used for the generation and verification of digital signatures.