The U.S. Postal Service is testing a new service: providing a digital certificate which will allow people to verify their identity over the Internet. "This will help bring the use of e-mail to a higher level," said a post office official.
In order to get the certificate, U.S. residents will have to apply over the Internet. They will get a form in the mail, which they must complete and bring to a post office along with identification. Then they will be able to download the certificate.
Getting a certificate will be free, but the post office will receive a small fee for sending a verified email. The emails will be time and date-stamped, just like regular letters, and should be useful for doing things like paying bills online.