Authentication of Information

The Challenge

For nearly 150 years, the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) has been the official disseminator of Government documents and has assured users of their authenticity.


The adoption of digital technology has changed the ways products are created, managed, and delivered to users. Electronic documents pose a special challenge to the verification of their authenticity because they can be altered, which could lead to unauthorized versions of government content. GPO must assure users that publications available from GPO websites are as official and authentic as publications that have been printed and disseminated by GPO for 150 years and that trust relationships exist between all parties in electronic transactions.

GPO's Charge

To help meet the challenge of the digital age, GPO has begun implementing measures that establish GPO as the trusted information disseminator, but also provide the assurance that an electronic document has not been altered since GPO disseminated it.


The visible digital signatures on online PDF documents serve the same purpose as handwritten signatures or traditional wax seals on printed documents. A digital signature, viewed through the GPO Seal of Authenticity, verifies document integrity and authenticity on GPO online Federal documents, at no cost to the customer.


Visit the Authentication page for additional information on GPO's role in authentication, how authentication works, and frequently asked questions about authentication.


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