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New postal era beckons as official documents go electronic

DDP/DPA/The Local · 13 Jul 2010, 10:50

Published: 13 Jul 2010 10:50 GMT+02:00

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The aim is to banish the need to use printed pages for sensitive material such as letters and documents to lawyers, banks and government officials. The system will be secure and carry the same legal weight as printed documents.

Deutsche Telekom announced Tuesday it was taking registrations. Customers with @t-online.de email addresses can sign up – initially for free, though registration will likely cost money eventually.

In recent weeks, email providers GMX and Web.de, both part of the German web firm United Internet, began taking registrations.

And Deutsche Post is set on Wednesday to launch its E-Postbrief system.

De-Mail will not come into full use, however until 2011. First, the lower house of parliament, or Bundestag, has to pass a law compelling users to register and prove their identities to prevent false or malicious documents being sent – or real documents being received by users intent on committing fraud.

Story continues below…

Reinhard Clemens, head of T-Systems, which is Deutsche Telekom’s IT division, estimated up to 10 billion letters currently being sent by post each year could be switched to De-Mail. The system could also replace certified mail, whereby the recipient has to sign to receive the document.

He said the system would be a particular boon for business customers.

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DDP/DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:48 July 13, 2010 by beeker
This won't be a success. The Beamters guard their office papers shelved in Leitz binders as a sign of rank. The more shelf space the more important is the position.

How would they put a "rejected" inked stamp on an email document. I would venture a bet that every email document will be printed on paper just to put a hard copy on the shelf , another copy to send a reply back to the sender and maybe one to buckpass upstairs.
15:02 July 13, 2010 by Bushdiver
If t-online is offering this it is well hidden. You can't find anything on their site concerning De-Mail, not even using their search bar.
17:39 July 13, 2010 by Kayak
Ok guys, c'mon! That's enough of the negativity.

I'm convinced - no, really! - that this will all work out fine. Surely you've come to realise by now that hi-tech means "can-do-tech" in Germany. There's enough innovation here and trust in the internet that things like this simply work.

I can't wait to use it... fan-bloody-tastic!
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