Documents and other items can be delivered electronically from sender to recipient with a level of trustedness approaching or exceeding that provided by a personal document courier. A trusted electronic go-between can validate, witness and/or archive transactions while, in some cases, actively participating in or directing the transaction. Printed or imaged documents can be marked using handwritten signature images, seal images, electronic fingerprinting, watermarking, and/or steganography. Electronic commercial transactions and transmissions take place in a reliable, “trusted” virtual distribution environment that provides significant efficiency and cost savings benefits to users in addition to providing an extremely high degree of confidence and trustedness. The systems and techniques have many uses including but not limited to secure document delivery, execution of legal documents, and electronic data interchange (EDI).