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German TR RESISCAN bans lossy JBIG2 for legally-significant content

Germany Standards bureau bans lossy JBIG2 compression from use in German federal agencies.
About the author: As CEO of the PDF Association and as an ISO Project Leader, Duff coordinates industry activities, represents industry stakeholders in a variety of settings and promotes the advancement and adoption of … Read more

Logo for the Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der InformationstechnikThe German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) is part of the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of the Interior; an independent and neutral body for matters of IT security.

Without referring to JBIG2 itself, the BSI has now prohibited, for German federal agencies, use of pattern-matching  algorithms used in lossy JBIG2 implementations for scans affecting "legal compliance". The ban is effective March 16, 2015.

JBIG2 compression that does not utilize pattern-matching appears not to be affected.

These rules are mandatory for German federal agencies, but are likely to affect those doing business with these agencies. How much farther the impact remains to be seen.

Specifically, the BIS says:

Verfahren, die zur Bildkompression die sog. „Pattern Matching & Substitution“ - Vorgehensweise nutzen, DÜRFEN NICHT eingesetzt werden. Auch das verwandte Soft Pattern Matching DARF NICHT eingesetzt werden.

In English:

Techniques for image compression, which are using so called "Pattern Matching & Substitution", MUST NOT be used. Along the same lines, Soft Pattern Matching MUST NOT be used.

Read BSI TR-03138 (German).

KOST (the Swiss "Koordinationsstelle für die dauerhafte Archivierung elektronischer Unterlagen" / "Swiss coordinating agency for longterm preservation of electronic records" recently passed a similar requirement for document managers in Swiss government.

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