Sorry, I must have misunderstood, what was de-mail about again?

By | August 30, 2012
Sigh. Yes, we citizens want online services. We want to be able to communicate with our government online. But de-mail doesn't fit the bill.

What de-mail offers
Let's go over the feature list again:
 – 39c per email.
 – Delivery receipt as soon as the mail lands in the recipient's email box (regardless of whether or not it is read)
 – Communications are done over SSL and messages are encrypted with a digital certificate
 – Two-step authentication, which can optionally be turned off
 – You need to present your ID to get an account.
 – Communications coming from this account to government are legally recognized as coming from you.

Help? Why do I need one!
For public communications, I'd expect communications to take place via public means in the first place. There are things like RSS feeds, mailing lists, social networks, and plenty of other public channels on which you can address a particular audience. I expect this to be 90% of communication the government may be interested in sending to me.

For communications that only I should receive, I'd much prefer integration with my existing email acount. It already can handle return receipts, SSL, digital certificates, and doesn't cost me 39c per mail.

An open society needs open yet secure protocols, not additional restraints and hurdles by gatekeeper organizations. And it's high time that government caught on to that and make digitalization plans that allow for transparency and citizen control.

IFA: DE-Mail soll für Schwung im digitalen Briefverkehr sorgen – Kostenvorteile gegenüber der „Gelben Post“ – Mangelhaftes Verständnis der Politik
Auf der Internationalen Funkausstellung (IFA) in Berlin will die Deutsche Telekom mit dem Start der DE-Mail für neuen S…

9 thoughts on “Sorry, I must have misunderstood, what was de-mail about again?

  1. Philipp Sengelmann

    That is just ridiculous, isn't it?

    But frankly, I'm saving so much time in the real world with useful and supporting technologies, that I can definitely spend some of it in Govgov-land, painting letters on a sheet a paper if its so "important". 😉

    Nice (analogue) evening everybody 😉

  2. Michael-Forest M.

    It's absurd.  Snail mail costs what it does because it has to be delivered by hand.  An email probably doesn't cost so much as a penny to send.

  3. Sophie Wrobel

    More or less. There are some fine technical differences in that de-mail providers must adhere to strict protocols and interoperability requirements on mail format, transmission, and acknowledgement.

  4. Sophie Wrobel

    +Bertrand Dunogier  It's the latest proposal in Germany to provide an 'alternative to snail mail', namely, expensive email. The Deutsche Post tried to do this two years ago and failed miserably… and there isn't much positive sentiment about Deutsche Telekom attempt right now. Only this time, backed by the government.


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