(cpx) USPS Electronic Commerce Services

Rohit Khare (khare@pest.w3.org)
Sat, 10 Feb 96 16:17:20 -0500

Think about it, floppies in the mail screaming "Your Public Key Enclosed...
call 1-800-* to activate!"


PS. Actually, they're talking about smartdisks, which are actually computer
chips that talk to the disk read head. They say if the price can get to $1,
they'd buy one for everybody.

From: bart@netcom.com (Harry Bartholomew)
Subject: USPS Electronic Commerce Services
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Date: Sat, 10 Feb 1996 02:36:22 -0800 (PST)
Mime-Version: 1.0
Sender: owner-cypherpunks@toad.com
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Because I registered for the upcoming Internet Expo in San Jose,
I got, by mail, an announcement of forthcoming Post Office services.
These "Postal Electronic Commerce Services" will be demo'd at
Booth 626 at this show on February 20-21.

The flyer says:
"Postal Electronic Commerce Services will provide end-to-end
security, confidentiality, integrity, and proof of origin to
all your electronic information transfer and storage."

Interestingly they suggest that the government is to be a prime
beneficiary: "For governments to get full value from the increased
use of personal computers and public access terminals (kiosks)
the privacy and security of every transaction must be guaranteed."

Under the HOW IT WORKS section, after a quick gloss on public key
cryptography they state: "Once a person generates a unique key
(using their own software), they will take the "public" part of
that key to a postal representative along with documents that
prove their identity. Postal Electronic Commerce Services will
then issue a certificate which guarantees that the identity of
the person matches the "public" key that they presented.
PECS will also electronically postmark the document using its own
set of "keys". This guarantees the validity of the stamp and
legally establishes the existence of the document."

They offer a FAX number for further info: (202) 268 4399
and a phone too at (202) 268 3435.

No mention of GAK or key length limits that I could see.
I will surely be at their booth on the 20th.

--- end forwarded text