[time-nuts] law and regulation applying to time.. was Re: OOPS on my wwv legal post

Michael Wouters michaeljwouters at gmail.com
Thu Aug 30 17:47:19 EDT 2018

In Australia, the legal reference for standards of measurement is defined
by the National Measurement Act:


This also defines the legal source of time of day UTC(AUS), the Australian
realisation of UTC. State legislation then defines local time as an offset
with respect to UTC(AUS)

I only know of three industry-related "requirements". In the financial
markets, there is a requirement (via "Market Integrity Rules", overseen by
a government regulatory body) for synchronisation to UTC(AUS) to 20 ms. The
others, in transport and telecomms, are more like "codes of practice".


On Thu, 30 Aug 2018 at 11:03 pm, jimlux <jimlux at earthlink.net> wrote:

> On 8/29/18 6:55 PM, John Hawkinson wrote:
> > Continuing reference to what is "legal" or "the law" is very confusing
> to me because no one has cited any statues, regulations, or case law.
> >
> > What's the basis for these claims about legal requirement? Can we please
> cite chapter and verse? Without it, it's hard to distinguish rumor and
> anecdote from fact, or refute anything.
> >
> >
> This is an interesting point - a year or so ago (probably around the
> time of the last leap second) there was all this stuff about UTC and
> leap seconds vis a vis electronic trading
> There's a internationally agreed second (defined by vibrations of Cs,
> etc.), and I assume that "standard practice" is that everyone adopts
> this rate.
> But is it a legal or regulatory *requirement* - or is it just standard
> practice, in the same sense that everyone uses the same M2 or 6-32
> threads.  There's no *law* that requires me to use a particular pipe
> thread or resistor color code. There's a standard that has been
> promulgated for these things, and if I buy, and you sell, it's to our
> mutual advantage to use the same standard.
> But if wanted to be "different", (say I was hand crafting English sports
> cars :), I could use a completely different series of fasteners and
> standard dimensions, and I could even use the positive terminal of the
> battery as the chassis common.
> But is there some International banking agreement that requires UTC? Or
> a SEC rule?
> I buy lots of things that have requirements that say, in effect
> "calibration shall be traceable to NIST or other National Standards
> Lab", but that's a *contractual* requirement, not a *legal* requirement.
> There may well be a law in the United States, probably buried in some
> enabling or appropriating bill, that says "The Department of Commerce
> shall provide national standards for mass, time, voltage, etc."  but
> that doesn't say "and all residents of the United States shall use only
> the standard provided by the Department of Commerce, and no other"
> What about Germany? Notoriously it is "Das Land der Gebote, der
> Vorschriften, und der Verbote."  (Commandments, regulations, and
> prohibitions)
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