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
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
“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
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.