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We Could Call It Email? US Post Office May Deliver Mail Digitally

Last month the US Post Office asked Congress for an extra day off. Turns out, with a $2.8 billion deficit in 2008, it can no longer afford to deliver mail six days a week. And with an $8 billion shortage predicted for '09, it's going to need more money than May's 2¢-stamp-price hike will bring.

Now tech startups have another idea: Get online. For real this time. Not like the e-stamp attempts that were so unpopular in the '90s. Security has always been the quandary keeping mail on the streets, but Earth Class Mail (ECM), a mail-scanning and delivery service, is ready to change that.

Its idea is that mail would go to a trusted inbox that's owned by the postal service. Once received, users could store mail on the postal carrier's servers (I hear your screams), forward it to a personal inbox, or shred it (in whatever e-way that means).

Switzerland's postal service has bought it; it's licensing ECM's technology to launch a mail service in Switzerland, Germany, France, Austria, Italy, and Liechtenstein. Ultimately, Earth Class Mail would like to form an international network and deliver mail worldwide.

Is this pay-for-security idea godsent, or should it get lost in the mail?


Join The Conversation
notamerica notamerica 8 years
Before cell phones there were phone booths, have you seen any lately, now there won't be any mail boxes but sooner or later the federal govt. will be collecting on both of them. Socialism how do you like change?
shortcakes9 shortcakes9 8 years
So much for privacy. What happened to the USA FREEDOM? Next someone will start a Hitler thing and our country will no longer be a free country but be a MESS. Sorry mom can't write you a letter because the government will read my letter to you and no privacy.
sitoyfarmer sitoyfarmer 8 years
No way should this idea come to pass. Last time I heard the postal workers were waaaay overpaid in comparison to other salaries so maybe that is one place that costs could be cut.
Amandaletta Amandaletta 8 years
This is weird and I'm not entirely sure how this would even work. Why not just email then? In this digital age though, I am not surprised that this is happening and that the post office is having trouble. Ground mail is phasing out with the growing popularity of paying ALL your bills online, sending emails instead of letters etc.
ashleyroselong ashleyroselong 8 years
Sometimes you need to send things through snail mail like official documents (transcripts, for example). And what's the fun if you can't right letters to friends not living close by?
outofhere outofhere 8 years
Huh? What an incredibly idiotic idea.
girlgreen girlgreen 8 years
i don't understand how this would work. what if you're sending money? the only thing i put in the mail anymore is my rent check.
fuzzles fuzzles 8 years
Well, at least from the photo is appears as though The Post Office is practicing safe text.
prada08 prada08 8 years
People Need Jobs... Delete this idea.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
I'm thinking maybe they should begin using those "smart cars" that we are planning on buying with the stimulus package. Mayeb that way they can save on gas.
momma-tikita momma-tikita 8 years
LOL CarrieSue. Yea I dont agree with this what so ever!
Carrie-Sue Carrie-Sue 8 years
"Its kind of funny how our world just keeps getting scarier." What an ironic statement. Yeah, it's pretty hillarious how scared I get when thinking of where this world is headed... :)
silversnowflake silversnowflake 8 years
Its kind of funny how our world just keeps getting scarier. Why don't we just make it easy for the government to identify us and all of our possessions?!! They can put little bar codes on all of us and then, hey! What the h e double hockey sticks would we need a postal system for?
whitefox whitefox 8 years
This is totally awful and, although I'm sure this President, cabinet (straight out of jail), and the majority of the House and Senate LOVE this idea, it is completely unConstitutional and a total invasion of privacy. Next they'll be censoring and blacking out our mail. It's a good rule of thumb that if Europe and Switzerland are doing it - it's BAD (and unConstitutional)!!
janneth janneth 8 years
I can see why the flag in the photo is flying at half mast.
janneth janneth 8 years
No way, please.
Manoukia Manoukia 8 years
Excuse me but WTF? I either send a snail mail because I want to, like an old-fashioned birthday or Christmas card or I use Email. Why would I want to write something that then gets scanned by someone - that's like faxing, only with unknown factors added in, people I don't know and don't trust, technology that could fail. I hope they fail with that one, big time.
wackdoodle wackdoodle 8 years this means that all mail is now subjected to government search before delivery to you. its a complete loss of privacy.
organicsugr organicsugr 8 years
Yeah, I agree, steph. I'm not seeing anything that we don't already have. I don't trust the post office with information anymore than I trust google or yahoo.
stephley stephley 8 years
Let's let the Europeans try it out first - I'm not clear on how it's not just let's all use email but include the post office as a middleman.
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