Re: internet postal surcharge

Charlie Stross (
Mon, 6 Dec 1999 11:35:14 +0000

On Sat, Dec 04, 1999 at 07:01:06AM -0800, Robert J. Bradbury wrote:
> This is fxxxxxg *stupid* (pardon my french), it shows how little the people
> in Washington understand about technology.
> As soon as this gets passed, I'll be the first person to help extend
> the HTTP/FTP/TELNET protocols so you can send encrypted email via
> alternate methods. If you send it in an encrypted format there is
> absolutely no way anyone can tell whether it is email, a file,
> some text I am typing or a page of hypertext. You cannot tax
> content, bits are bits, you can only tax the connection by
> the number you have, the time you are connected or the volume
> of data sent.


A mad^H^H^Hfriend of mine (his sideline is writing and maintaining an INTERCAL compiler) is intermittently working on his own mail server, in perl. One of its strengths is that an SPMS server can talk to another SPMS server using an encrypted private (non-SMTP) protocol. It's also designed with some support for steganography in mind. Funny how all those Linux kernel FTP transfers don't actually boot if you install them, and how his mail server carries lots more local delivery connections than you'd expect by counting its non-local connections ;-)