1996-08-22 - Re: USPS

Header Data

From: “Bruce M.” <bkmarsh@feist.com>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 734f00dc7a40ef0f3790376f8d5945a0aa21ac46d074fd4a851b6c295c46a55c
Message ID: <Pine.BSI.3.91.960822120220.8472A-100000@wichita.fn.net>
Reply To: <9608212250.AA14289@cow.net>
UTC Datetime: 1996-08-22 20:57:18 UTC
Raw Date: Fri, 23 Aug 1996 04:57:18 +0800

Raw message

From: "Bruce M." <bkmarsh@feist.com>
Date: Fri, 23 Aug 1996 04:57:18 +0800
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Re: USPS
In-Reply-To: <9608212250.AA14289@cow.net>
Message-ID: <Pine.BSI.3.91.960822120220.8472A-100000@wichita.fn.net>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

On Wed, 21 Aug 1996, Bovine Remailer wrote:

> The Postal service is working on a new postage method, 2 key signature, which will be unique to each "postal unit" ( stamp ) the signature will be
> logged when you buy the stamps....No more anon. snail mail......
> Just thought you'd like to know !

   In related news...

Web Week, July 8, 1996, p3

    In an effort to do its part to nuture electronic commerce, the U.S. 
Postal Service is launching a pilot project this summer to test the 
electronic postmarking of documents sent over the Web.

    The electronic postmark--a time and dte stamp--will carry the full 
legal weight of the postmark on standard mail, including the Postal 
Service's authority to investigate tampering.


    The Postal Service's attorneys have told the USPS that the tampering 
part of the current federal law would transfer to the electronic space, 
and that the mail fraud portion might also apply...

    "We're a trusted third party," Saunders said.  "We don't have any 
interest in learning your trade secrets.  Congress oversees our actions.  
Our customers have found that of value."

    Electronic postmarking is one of two services that the USPS intends 
to launch into cyberspace.  The second is a certificate-authority 
service, in which people can take a public encryption key and register it 
with the Postal Service for general use on the Internet.

    There will be three levels of security offered: simple online 
registration; a physical verification of identity; and the highest level, 
which requires electronic THUMBPRINTS.  The certification program will 
pilot-test in the fall and will be available to the public by the end of 
the year.  The price will be $10 to $15, Raines said.  The certificates 
will last one to three years, specified at registration.

    Cylink Corp,...is providing the public-key encryption and certificate-
issuing technology fo the Postal Service, basd on the company's patented 
Diffie-Hellman public-key cryptography scheme.  Neither the Postal 
Service nor Cylink executives would discuss the use of those technologies.

[Information about how their software will be integrated into software by 
Microsoft, Lotus and Netscape]


    The Postal Service plans to add follow-up services, including an 
electronic return-receipt program and time-specific delivery.

[Talk about how great it would be to mail in your tax return with delayed 

[They say that Verisign is the alleged only real competitor in the 
certificate market]

                      [ Bruce M. - Feist Systems, Inc. ]
     "Official estimates show that more than 120 countries have or are 
      developing [information warfare] capabilities." -GAO/AIMD-96-84
                         So, what is your excuse now?