The postman always rings twice  [10/365] Photo by FarruskaThe German Deutsche Post is planning on deploying it's so called "DE Mail" service. In basic it's nothing more then regular email but with the addition that it is legally treated like snail mail i.e. it can be used for trusted communication with public authorities.

The funny fact about it is that each mail costs 20 cent ... an approach I can not agree with. Once set up, the upkeep of this system will depend on the scale of it's usage. Thus charging such an amount for something that can be fully automated: routing an email through the system, a system which is by purpose enclosed in it self with no links to the outside world, is something every sysadmin dreams of. No need for compatibility tests, no unforeseen behavior of neighboring systems.

The upkeep of this system should really be minimal. On he other side, all the effects desired by "DE Mail" can be achieved if we would have more widespread GPG/PGP coverage among the users of email and their clients of choice.

And now for the funny side:

$ telnet 25
Trying 2001:5c0:1400:b::4779...
Connected to
Escape character is '^]'.
220 ESMTP - Courier Mail Server !!! CHARGING 20 CENT PER MAIL !!!
221 Bye.
Connection closed by foreign host.

This was done by modifying /etc/courier/esmtpgreeting file for the Courier mail server.