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From: "LadyNada" <[email protected]>
To: [email protected]
Date: Sun, 26 Nov 1995 13:26:39 +0000
Subject: Post Office to approve some internet email

- -- Area : AEN NEWS -----------------------------------------( M-BOARD.SU1 )----
  Msg#  22280                                       Date: 11-18-95  19:01      
  From: [email protected]                            Read: No     Replied: No   
    To: All                                         Mark:                      
  Subj: Oh, great.  The Post Office is going to certify Internet mail.         
- -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: "Jared Armstrong" <[email protected]>
Originally to: [email protected]
Original Date: Sat, 18 Nov 95 18:47 EST


 > [Image]

 > Post Office offers Internet digital ID

 > Certification authority a key enabler of electronic commerce

 > By Gail Bronson

 > Side bar WASHINGTON - Come next summer, the U.S. Postal Service
 > expects to be up and running with a service that will identify
 > senders and receivers of Internet messages, a critical enabler of
 > electronic commerce.

 > Specifically, the Postal Service will operate a certification
 > authority for public-key certificates used to digitally sign
 > messages transmitted over the Internet.

 > The Postal Service expects the service to be of particular interest
 > to anyone involved in electronic commerce or electronic data
 > interchange, in which the ability to assure the identity of both
 > the sender and receiver of information can be crucial.

 > "Right now there is no way to figure out if messages on the
 > Internet have been tampered with nor is there any way to
 > authenticate the genuine identity of a sender," said Paul Raines,
 > program manager for electronic commerce at the Postal Service. "It
 > could be a dog on the other end of the Internet now for all you
 > know."

 > Limited beta tests of the Postal Service's system already are under
 > way within the federal government, at the Federal Aviation
 > Administration, Social Security and the Internal Revenue Service.

 > "We're eager to work with VeriSign [RSA Data Security Inc.
 > spin-off] and any other certification authorities to come up with
 > ways to help with cross certification," Raines said. "We're not in
 > this to compete with private companies, rather, we're trying to
 > enable [the electronic commerce] industry."

 > Some users may find the Postal Service certification authority
 > service more appealing than private alternatives because its
 > service will carry the weight of law - tampering with Internet
 > messages would be as much a crime as tampering with regular U.S.
 > mail. On the other hand, there is always the lingering concern of
 > having to deal with a federal bureaucracy.

 > The Postal Service intends to play two roles in the certification
 > business.

 > First, as a certifying service the federal agency will provide the
 > code, or public-key certificate, necessary for recipients of
 > digitally signed messages to identify the sender. This service will
 > be necessary to decrypt mail unless the two correspondents
 > previously exchanged their keys privately. Second, the Postal
 > Service will maintain a server to manage a public register of
 > public-key certificates accessible off the Internet, Raines said.

 > The Postal Service will conduct market studies to gauge demand
 > before deciding how much individuals must pay to obtain someone
 > else's public key certificate. In addition, the Postal Service will
 > sell for less than a dollar an electronic date-time stamp to prove
 > the existence of a message in a particular point in time.

 > "We're taking the same attributes of hard copy that make them
 > legally binding and transferring them to electronic
 > correspondence," Raines said.

 > The Postal Service is working with several companies, including
 > Premenos Corp., to develop the necessary software, Raines said. The
 > user agent and interface specifications for designing software to
 > interface with the Postal Service's server, however, are available
 > free to any one willing to sign a licensing agreement, Raines said.

 > Regardless of how such arrangements work themselves out, the Postal
 > Service intends to operate this business on a nonprofit,
 > self-supported basis. "We don't intend to have first-class mail
 > supporting Internet mail," Raines said.

 > Back to Current Issue

                 Jared Armstrong
              Anchorage, Alaska, USA
             Last Free Place On Earth

  [email protected]    http://www.alaska.net/~jared
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