Java jarsigner.exe has a feature to make such a request right while signing to get an accurate timestamp. You use the -tsa url or -tsacert alias to to connect to a timestamp service.
You could do something similar with a backup CD (Compact Disk) to prove you had composed all those works by the backup date, which might come in handy later in a patent or copyright lawsuit.
You send the Certificate Authority a *.tsq file, mime type application/timestamp-query, and get back a *.tsr file application/timestamp-reply. The protocol could not be simpler. You send a file using standard HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol). You get a file. The DER-base64 formats of the files are defined by RFC 3161 which is part of X.509. As usual the RFC (Request For Comment) is written in Greek. I suggest snooping on a timestamping conversation with a protocol sniffer to understand better how it works. RFC 3161 covers timestamping signatures.RFC 5126 covers long term electronic signatures.
Currently, J2SE (Java 2 platform, Standard Edition) 5.0+ time stamping does not work with the Verisign time stamping authority. Jarsigner communicates with the time stamping authority through a time stamping protocol (RFC 3161) which Verisign currently does not support. Unfortunately, there is no timestamping for Sun Java code signing certificates. Therefore, you must re-sign your code after the expiration of the certificate.
Starfield has a jarsigner-compliant and RFC 3161-compliant free timestamp server. You may need to install the Starfield root certificate first. It also works with acrobat.
Aloha also has a timestamp server Aloha free timestamp server. You will need to install the Aloha root certificate first.
|Timestamping Certificate Authorities|
|Unizeto Certum||free to individuals and educational organisations. per stamp to companies.|
|Stamper||PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) based email timestamping. Also used to prove that you sent an email.|
|Comodo||For authenticode. free.|
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