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Massachusetts Law Updates regularly features “Words of Law”, highlighting a particular word or phrase and its meaning in law. Today, as part of our series about the codification of law, we will offer a definition of the word authentication from the U.S. Government Publishing Office, as a preface to a discussion about the difference between accessing the codification of Massachusetts law online or in print.

Authentication. Verification that the digital content is authentic or official and certification of this to users accessing the content.

From “Authentication Definitions” prepared by the U.S. Government Publishing Office. 

For more on how the U.S. Government Publishing Office is facing challenges related to the authentication of the documents that they publish online, see their web page on “Authentication.”

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