Re: Why everyone uses envelopes but few encrypt emails?



On Thu, 15 Jun 2006 01:29:37 -0000, gordonb.73xhu@xxxxxxxxxxx (Gordon
Burditt) wrote:

I am always puzzled by the fact that everyone puts envelopes on their
personal letters

It is nearly impossible to send postal mail WITHOUT an envelope.
You cannot, using postcards:
- enclose a check.
- return filled-in pre-printed forms of any size
- send more than a tiny message
- send physical objects (e.g floppy disks, CD-ROMs, plastic or paper
ID cards (of which credit cards are a subset), coins, keys, etc.)
and there are reasons other than privacy why I would want to use these.

<snip>

At least for the US; rules and fees may be different elsewhere:

Just recently I received a small (USD3) check for a mail-in rebate on
a postcard. I guess they figure(d) it's OK to let mail handlers know I
bought a DVD (without identifying it) -- which in this particular case
I didn't mind, although the general principle is bad -- and the
postage reduction is significant against this smallish value.

Over the years I've also (received and) sent back some forms mostly
for magazine 'qualification' that are 'self-mailers' -- i.e. 'fold
this part down, this part up, and tape the sides (or pregummed)' --
which aren't fully sealed and if you really wanted could probably be
peeked into without damage. (In those cases much of the information I
supplied was, cough, ahem, improved anyway, so there wouldn't have
been a real confidentiality violation.) If by 'of any size' you mean
more than four or maybe six pages, though, I agree. These don't get
postcard rate, although many perhaps most of them were machinable
Business Reply Mail which gets its own discount and also surcharge.

You actually can mail marked 'keys or identification devices' back to
the owner, open, and they pay a fee in addition to postage due -- it
looks like 65 cents in what I'm pretty sure is the latest DMM. Some
years ago this used to be common for 'transient' keys like hotel rooms
and luggage lockers that people had a tendency to walk off with, using
an anonymous address like a center-city box that would not help a
thief figure out where to misuse the key. (Nowadays hotels at least
mostly use coded cards which they can and do cheaply replace.)

You can mail small flats like a CD in a clear wrapper which from a
privacy point of view is the same as a postcard, but you don't get the
(reduced) postcard postage rate. Obviously doing so for things that
are valuable (esp. negotiable) and hence particularly tempting to
steal would be a stupid idea.

- David.Thompson1 at worldnet.att.net
.



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