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

shouldbe q931 shouldbeq931 at gmail.com
Thu Aug 30 17:51:21 EDT 2018

On Thu, Aug 30, 2018 at 2:03 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.
As I have read it, the "law" regarding time is about when "something"
happened, and as the "something" is usually between two parties an
external standard needs to be used, so although the second is defined
by the number of transition between the two hyperfine ground states of
caesium, UTC is used as the "standard" and so even though a trading
entity may have a Cs "clock" it would only be used as a holdover
device if time from a directly continuously traceable (to UTC) was
> 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.
As above the "law" usually relates to UTC rather than how you derive a second.
> 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.
While it would be possible to build using a different thread to
Whitworth https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Standard_Whitworth or
metric, having to make every single nut and bolt would be a
considerable overhead.

OT (very) I learnt to drive in a positive earth Morris Minor, and that
was only a "few" decades ago (-:
> But is there some International banking agreement that requires UTC? Or
> a SEC rule?
MIFID II is a European (not quite International, but when one
considers the reach, it is effectively International) law that
specifically names UTC and tracebility
> 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)
Germany uses UTC


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