Post Office tries to control email

Joey deVilla found a story in his 20-year-old copy of Creative Computing about the Post Office taking over email. They’ve tried similar things several times up through the ’90s.

The article quoted covers the “Electronic Mail and Message Conference” held in December, 1980. Looks like our congress had spam to deal with even then:

Many letters pass between congressmen, he told us, particularly “Dear Colleague” letters about their individual concerns., that go out to all fellow members. A representative reads the ones from certain people and not others, he explained, and he would like to be able to automate this — including the screening out of the unwanted material. He is also interested in forms of teleconferencing for members; he would like to “create an electronic place where we can meet as friends in private.”

It is interesting that the article Joey points to was written by Ted Nelson — yes, that Ted Nelson. (Ted Nelson: XML is not an improvement but a hierarchy hamburger.)

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