eSignature, Digital Signature Services (DSS) and JAdES demonstrated at DigitALL Public 2021
From 20-22 April 2021, the DigitALL Public conference explored the crucial role of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Building Blocks and interoperability solutions in digitally interconnecting Europe during the last EU budget cycle.
DigitALL Public welcomed inspiring interventions, testimonials and received insights from more than 200 speakers in 56 dedicated sessions. More than 1500 digital enthusiasts connected from 33 countries, clearly demonstrating the interest in the question of how Building Blocks and interoperability solutions make our lives better.
In a (virtual) parallel session, the team behind the CEF eSignature Building Block organised a showcase of its DSS Library, an open software library used for the creation and verification of interoperable and secure electronic signatures in-line with the European Standards.
Electronic signatures building cross-border trust
Following an introduction to the CEF eSignature Building Block, including electronic signatures and digital signature concepts and standards, a live coding session looked at JAdES digital signature creation, validation and augmentation.
The eSignature building block helps public administrations and businesses to accelerate the creation and verification of electronic signatures in-line with the provisions of the eIDAS Regulation on authentication and trust services in the internal market.
The CEF eSignature building block consists of several services managed by the European Commission. These include:
- The Digital Signature Services (DSS) open-source library for the creation and validation of e-signatures.
- The Trusted List Manager, which helps the Member States' Trusted List Scheme Operators (TLSOs) create and edit a Trusted List in a standard, machine-readable format.
- Technical specifications and associated standards (maintained by ETSI), which outline the requirements laid out by the eIDAS Regulation in regard to e-signatures and e-seals.
- Signature Conformance Testing (maintained by ETSI), to help service providers and public administrations test interoperability and conformity of their e-signature solution.
ETSI published the JAdES standard ( ETSI TS 119 182-1 version 1.1.1) in March of this year (2021-03). JAdES is a brand new standard, and although very recent, has already been implemented in the DSS Library - one of the first implementation of this new international standard.
This session provided an overview of what electronic signatures are, the standards that make them interoperable and how this relates to the legal framework established by the eIDAS Regulation.
This event then offered a live coding session, allowing stakeholders to try out their skills, with the support of experts from the eSignature Building Block team. Participants learned how to:
- Configure a new workspace, showing practically how quickly one can start building a solution with the DSS Library;
- Tailor the DSS to particular needs (the session hosts selected particular modules of DSS, and one format in particular: JAdES);
- Use the JAdES format to show how a JAdES signature can be created, validated and augmented, referring to the concepts of digital signatures presented earlier;
- Modify the default DSS validation policy to demonstrate how the way DSS validates signatures can be configured to suit a particular business case (further demonstrating the flexibility of the DSS Library).
Only recordings from the DigitALL Public main stage are public. So take a moment to see the ‘aftermove’ and recordings form the event main stage.
You can visit the European Commission’s CEF Digital platform to learn more about the eSignature Building Block and deploy it in your project or organisation.