RealTime IT News

You've Got Government-Certified Mail

The U.S. Postal Service has launched an electronic version of Certified Mail aimed at letting government agencies send and receive secure documents over the Internet.

The technology, called NetPost.Certified, was developed with management and technical support from AT&T Corp., IBM and Keycorp Ltd., an Australian software developer.

First to use the new service will be the Social Security Administration, which will receive data on vital statistics from state governments.

The new service, basically an electronic version of Certified Mail, uses passwords and ID cards embedded with computer chips to provide proof that a document arrived safely in the hands of the intended recipient. The system will cost 50 cents per use, regardless of the size of the transmission, the Postal Service said.

Deputy Postmaster General John Nolan was quoted as saying the system should speed up government services and cut down on paperwork.

The Postal Service estimates usage of NetPost.Certified could reach 6 billion transactions each year, Stephen Kearney, USPS senior vice president for corporate and business development, told Bloomberg News.