USPS Providing Electronic Postmarks (Re: [Slashdot] Stories for 2004-01-17)

R. A. Hettinga rah at
Sat Jan 17 07:06:30 EST 2004

At 6:13 AM +0000 1/17/04, slashdot at wrote:
>| USPS Providing Electronic Postmarks                                |
>|   from the trust-the-post-office dept.                             |
>|   posted by CowboyNeal on Friday January 16, @08:02 (encryption)   |
>|              |
>[0]isn't my name writes "Back in 2000, Clinton signed the [1]ESIGN
>Legislation which set forth the requirements for making electronic
>signatures. But many questioned the weakness of its definitions that
>allowed [2] an e-mail address to be used as an electronic signature.
>Well, it seems the USPS has come up with [3]something stronger. They even
>have a [4]Java and MS COM SDK's Apparently, the USPS feels that the
>strong legal protections against interfering with the US mail [5]will
>apply to the EPM program. It seems that [6]AuthentiDate is doing all the
>heavy lifting. According to the [7]whitepaper on their site, it provides
>non-repudiation and legal timestamps of documentation by having the
>customer use a public-key to sign a hash of the document, which is then
>sent to AuthentiDate's servers which combine that with a timestamp and
>sign with their key. So, AuthentiDate does not have access to any of the
>data in the documentation. It sounds very similar to the free [8]PGP
>Digital Timestamping Service, but it likely is more likely to be legally
>defensible in a US Court. They also have a new [9]plug-in for MS Word
>documents. Interestingly, despite the mention of the SDK and it's ability
>to work with any documents, the only [10]login setup I could find just
>allows you to use the MS Word version."
>Discuss this story at:
>    0. http://%7Bmoc.htroneerht%7D%20%7Bta%7D%20%7Bhsals%7D
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>   10.

R. A. Hettinga <mailto: rah at>
The Internet Bearer Underwriting Corporation <>
44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'

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