Re: [LEAPSECS] what time is it, legally?

From: Magnus Danielson <>
Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2006 23:50:06 +0100 (CET)

From: Steve Allen <sla_at_UCOLICK.ORG>
Subject: [LEAPSECS] what time is it, legally?
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2006 20:45:58 -0800
Message-ID: <>

> This history is apparently not lost to folks at NIST, for the US
> senate continues to consider legislation which would explicitly
> rewrite US legal time to be based on UTC (as locally interpreted)
> rather than Greenwich mean solar time. The most recent incarnation of
> the bill appeared in September as S3936, and section 1406 contains the
> text to make the change. See at
> (and note the trailing colon in the URL).
> The bill has a lot of cosponsors as seen in the links on Thomas.
> Clearly the passage of this bill would short circuit a litigation
> process which the Jenni Parrish document shows to have lasted for most
> of a lifetime.

Sounds like a good thing.

Here in Sweden, Swedish Normal Time is by law defined to be UTC + 1h. Both UTC
and BIPM is explicitly mentioned in the law (SFS 1979:988). Swedish summertime
is a little bit fuzzier, but UTC + 2h is a valid interpretation.

There is 8 NTP servers being under the control of the national metrological
institute SP. Those servers traces back to the national laboratory, redundant,
has backup power for as long as we care. However, there is actually no legal
path to get traceable time.

It is not only necessary to have legal time defined as UTC, you also need the
legal tools which enables legal supported (and required) traceability, so that
definition actually means something. When reading up on the issue and talking
to the national accreditation boards cheif lawyer, I was not only supprised
about the loophole, but the view the accreditation board feeling not empowered
to address the issue besides for "customer concerns". Sigh. Let's just say that
I was less than happy with the situation.

Work is under way to remedy that issue.

Now, how is the situation elsewhere? Is the legal definition followed up with
the legal tools to also do traceability of time (and not just SI second)?

Received on Tue Dec 12 2006 - 15:00:48 PST

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