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In computer security there is a concept known as: non-repudiation

"Non-repudiation refers to a state of affairs where the purported maker of a statement will not be able to successfully challenge the validity of the statement or contract." - wiki

Without going into too many details, it's like having a receipt that proves that data has not been altered.

Now if I had something like a letter, and was able to apply techniques of non-repudiation to it, what would be the best word to describe the letter?

There seem to be three terms used by experts in the field: non-repudiable, non-refutable, and non-reputable

I'm inclined to think that non-repudiable is the most correct; however, the other two seem to be more commonly used in that context.

Any thoughts?

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  • "Signed"? (This is somewhat tongue-in-cheek, I know that a signature serves several other legal purposes in addition to non-repudiation. I have no idea what a layperson outside of law and IT makes of "non-repudiation", though.) Commented Feb 27, 2015 at 9:42

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Non-repudiable exists, in generic/ broader legal usage corresponding to non-repudiation.

non-repudiation (Wikipedia)

Non-repudiation refers to a state of affairs where the purported maker of a statement will not be able to successfully challenge the validity of the statement or contract.

See also:
non-repudiable (ContentCreationWiki)

NonRepudiable transaction can't be denied as having taken place or being legitimate; in a sense, a business transaction may still be cancelled by another such transaction.

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A letter can be notarized, a procedure in which an authorized person certifies the authenticity of a document. The definition at Vocabulary.com explains it well:

You usually have someone notarize your contract when you lease a car. In other words, she'll put a special, official stamp next to your signature and her own — certifying that you are in fact you.

The verb notarize is most likely to come up in a lawyer's office or when you're signing a contract, a will, or some other legal document. A person certified to notarize documents is called a "notary public," and his job is to officially swear that he saw the contract or agreement get signed. The word "notary" was originally used to mean "secretary," but around the 14th century it took on the meaning of "person authorized to authenticate."

Proving that evidence (such as a document) has not been tampered with may involve establishing a chain of custody:

the order in which a piece of criminal evidence should be handled by persons investigating a case, specif. the unbroken trail of accountability that ensures the physical security of samples, data, and records in a criminal investigation

(Definition from Dictionary.com)

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