Postal Service Launches NetPost.Certified - Web Based Certified Mail
Press release from the issuing company
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U. S. Postal Service today introduced a new Internet-based service designed to enable government agencies to secure and authenticate electronic correspondence. The Postal Service worked with an AT&T team, which includes IBM, to deliver the significant management, technical and support resources necessary for NetPost.Certified to meet specific government requirements.
Using the Postal Service's Electronic Postmark and Certificate Authority, NetPost.Certified allows government users to obtain a Postal Service issued digital certificate. The digital certificate is stored on a NetPost.Certified smartcard, which enables users to send electronic files securely and privately to government computers. Just as the existing physical Certified Mail service provides a return receipt verifying delivery, the NetPost.Certified service generates an electronic return receipt by the Postal Service verifying delivery of each transaction.
"The Postal Service has for more than 225 years played a pivotal role in enabling faster, more efficient and secure communication between the United States government and its citizens," said Deputy Postmaster General John Nolan. "NetPost.Certified was specifically designed to support e-government initiatives by expediting the movement of documents online, and ensuring users that those documents sent electronically would be secure and private at all times while in transit."
The Social Security Administration (SSA) was the first federal agency to sign up for this service, and will be prototyping NetPost.Certified for several applications, including obtaining vital statistics records from state governments. SSA and the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) have worked with the Postal Service in identifying the service requirements for NetPost.Certified, and both agencies have participated in the pilot program to test the service for their respective applications. While the HCFA pilot is in full operation, SSA is the first agency to implement the production version of the service.
"AT&T has a long history of providing technical services and information security solutions to the federal government," said Mary Jane McKeever, President, AT&T Government Markets. "We are pleased with the essential role our team is playing in this new Internet-based service with the U.S. Postal Service. NetPost.Certified is an outstanding example of how the Postal Service is successfully working with companies like AT&T to fulfill a government-wide mandate to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the government's services through the implementation of world-class technologies."
"IBM looks forward to working with the U.S. Postal Service and AT&T to deliver this new set of secure messaging capabilities," said Tom Burlin, Vice President, IBM Global Services Public Sector. "By making its products and services electronically accessible, the Postal Service is demonstrating its commitment to e-government and to better serving the needs of its customers."
"In Social Security's long range plan — specifically our vision for service in the year 2010 — one of our goals is to create an electronic infrastructure which will enable our customers, anywhere in the world, to securely send us an electronic package of information and for us to reply to them in kind," said SSA Deputy Commissioner, Bill Halter. "With NetPost.Certified, the Postal Service is providing us with an opportunity to test and integrate technology that will help us toward that goal."
NetPost.Certified will support e-government requirements such as the Government Paperwork Elimination Act (GPEA), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Presidential Memorandum on e-Government initiatives.
In addition to using the Postal Service's Electronic Postmark and Certificate Authority, NetPost.Certified uses technology from Cylink, WareOnEarth Communications, GemPlus, PubliCARD, RSA, TecSec, KeyCorp and ValiCert.
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