RealTime IT News

Royal Mail Team Unveils Recorded Delivery E-Mail

London, ENGLAND -- A team led by the Royal Mail's ViaCode division has unveiled a system that provides a range of recorded delivery features for e-mail.

The new system, named ViaCode eCourier, uses digital certificate technology to provide time-stamped proof of sending, proof of opening, and even proof of "not-yet-opened" for S/MIME messaging.

Having developed the technology, ViaCode is now seeking partnerships with ISPs, ASPs, and other organizations who want to use it for branded secure e-mail services.

Martin Roe, ViaCode technical director, drew attention to the "not-yet-opened" feature, saying it could be every bit as useful as the proof of opening receipts. In the ViaCode system, the sender receives time-stamped notification if the recipient of a message has not opened it.

"Imagine you're close to the deadline for submitting an important document. If you get automatic notification that the message has not been read by the time you specify, then you're able to make alternative arrangements. Without eCourier, you'd be none the wiser," noted Roe.

Roe said the developers expect time-stamped audit trails provided by an impartial third-party could prove a powerful aid to dispute resolution.

"With a ViaCode digital certificate providing authentication, privacy and message integrity, and eCourier providing a time-stamped audit trail, we think the jigsaw for this important aspect of e-business is finally complete," said Roe.

Like many government funded organizations in the U.K. -- including the military -- the Royal Mail has scientists to develop new technologies, but is not empowered to exploit the results commercially to their full extent.

Interested companies and potential partners can find more information on ViaCode's 128-bit cryptography at www.viacode.com.