An electronic signature — also known as an ‘e-signature‘ — is a simple and legally recognized way to indicate consent or approval on a digital document or form. A digital signature is a specific implementation of an e-signature that requires the signer to have a certificate-based digital ID.
Within the scope of civil, commercial and administrative transactions, e-signatures shall have the same determinative effect that signatures have under the provisions of the Evidence Law in the civil and commercial articles, if the creation and completion thereof come in compliance with the terms stipulated in this Law and the technical and technological rules identified in the Executive Regulations of this law.
Within the scope of civil, commercial and administrative transactions, e-writing and electronically written messages shall have the same determinative effect that writing, official, and unofficial messages have under the provisions of the Evidence Law in the civil and commercial articles as long as it meets the terms and regulations stipulated in this Law in compliance with the technical and technological rules identified in the Executive Regulations thereof.
The hardcopy of the electronically written message shall have the same determinative effect on all parties to the extent that this hardcopy is conforming to the original electronically written message, and as long as the official electronically written message and the e-signature are saved on an electronic backup archiving.
The provisions of the Evidence Law in the civil and commercial articles shall prevail in relation to proving the validity of the official and unofficial electronically written messages, e-signatures and e-writings.
The e-signatures, e-writing, and electronically written messages shall have the determinative effect for evidence provided their compliance with the following:
A. The e-signature is for the signer solely
B. The signer has sole control over the electronic medium
C. Possible discovery of any modification or replacement of the data of electronically written message or e-signature.
The Executive Regulations of this Law shall set out the necessary technical and technological rules.
Digital certificates may not be issued without licensing by the Authority in return for fees to be identified by the Authority’s Board of Directors in compliance with the procedures, rules, and guarantees stipulated by the Executive Regulations of this Law, without being restricted by the provisions of Law no. 129/1947 on Public Utilities, and with consideration to the following:
A. The Licensee shall be selected under public competition.
B. .The Authority’s Board of Directors shall set out the licensing period provided that it does not exceed ninety nine years.
C. The supervision and technical and financial monitoring mechanisms, ensuring sound and regular workflow at the Authority shall be set out.
Stopping practice of the licensed activity, merging with another entity or waiving license to a third party is not permitted without the prior written consent of the Authority.
The Executive Regulations of this Law shall identify the data which should be included in the digital certificate.
E-signature and e-media data and information submitted to the entity licensed to issue digital certificates are confidential and whoever receives or has access to them by virtue of work may not disclose such data and information to third parties or use them for purposes other than the purpose for which they were originally submitted.
The Authority shall be responsible for authenticating appropriate foreign entities to issue digital certificates in return for fees identified by the Authority’s Board of Directors. In such case, the certificates issued by such entities shall have the same determinative effect for evidence of other similar certificates issued internally by other similar entities in compliance with the rules, procedures and guarantees stipulated by the Executive Regulations of this Law.
Without prejudice to more severe penalties stipulated in the Penalty Code or any other law, imprisonment and payment of a fine not less than LE 10,000 and not more than LE 100,000 or either shall be the penalty for whomever:
A. Issues digital certificates without obtaining a license from the Authority to practice this activity.
B. Destroys or damages a signature, electronic medium or electronically written messages; or falsifies any of these by imitation, modification, alteration or by any other means.
C. Uses knowingly a falsified or damaged signature, electronic medium or electronically written messages
D. Violates any of the provisions of Articles 19 and 21 of the Law No 15 of 2004.
E. Manages through any means to obtain unrightfully a signature, written message or electronic medium; or breaches, intercepts or puts such electronic media out of service.
The penalty for violation of Article 13 of of the Law No 15 of 2004 shall be a fine not less than LE 5,000 and not more than LE 50,000. The maximum and minimum penalty shall be doubled in case of repetition of such violations.
In all cases, the conviction verdict shall be published in two daily wide-spread newspapers and on the Internet at the expense of the convicted.
The person in charge of actual administration for the corporate person shall suffer the same penalties stipulated for violating the provisions of this law if it is proven that he/she had knowledge thereof and his/her negligence of administration duties led to the crime.
The corporate person shall be jointly responsible for payment of the financial and compensation verdicts if the violation was by one of the employees working for him/ her or in his/ her name.
The Minister of Justice, in agreement with the Minister with policy jurisdiction, may issue a decree authorizing ITIDA employees to serve in the capacity of law officers in relation to crimes committed by breaching the provisions of this law where such crimes may be related to such employees’ areas of professional responsibility.
Without prejudice to the provisions of Article 23 of the Law No 15 of 2004, if the entity authorized to issue digital certificates violates the licensing terms or any of the provisions of Article 19 of the Law No 15 of 2004, the Authority may cancel such licensing and may suspend it until the causes of the violation are removed in compliance with the rules and procedures identified by the Executive Regulations of that Law.
Whoever practices the activity of issuing digital certificates before the time this law comes into effect shall comply with this law within maximum six months of the promulgation of its executive regulations and comply with the rules and procedures stipulated by such regulations.
All entities and companies operating in the fields of e-transactions and ICT shall submit to ITIDA reports, statistics or information related to ITIDA activities. But This provisions shall not apply to the presidency authorities, the Armed Forces, the Ministry of Interior, the General Intelligence Agency, and the Administration Monitoring Authority.