In December 2009, the Universal Postal Union (UPU) obtained exclusive rights to the “.post” top-level domain for the postal community from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.

The .post domain joins existing prominent top level domains (such as .com, .edu, and .org), along with recent additions (such as .museum, .biz, and .aero.) The .post domain is intended to provide a secure space for members of the postal community to develop and deploy digital products and services.

The .post domain is expected to be available for use by private postal operators, regulators, suppliers, vendors, trade unions, and trade associations.

By linking well-established national networks, the UPU hopes .post will allow postal operators and customers to reap the benefits of a global physical/digital network that permits postal service providers and end users to connect quickly and securely to other end users around the world.

The .post domain could be an appropriate platform for a variety of services. Common suggestions include: a global track and trace system linking the existing systems of the posts; the creation of an accessible database holding a universal and global addressing system; and a feature allowing consumers to decide whether to have an item delivered to a physical address or an electronic address.
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One approach, at the core of the OIG Risk Analysis Research Center's (RARC) digital strategy paper, Expanding the Postal Platform, would be to give every postal customer an e-mail address and digital ID. The .post top level domain could be a platform to support implementation of this strategy.

The development of the .post top level domain raises a number of interesting questions:

•Should the U.S. Postal Service use .post as a platform for offering digital services?
•What are the advantages and disadvantages of using the .post domain, rather than .com or .gov?
•Are there potential applications for .post that the postal media has not addressed?
•Would .post improve the Postal Service brand by helping differentiate the Postal Service from other services in the digital space?
•Does the choice of domain name affect the quality of service provided or the effectiveness of marketing such services?

Let us know what you think!

This blog is hosted by the OIG’s Risk Analysis Research Center.

Comments (7)

  • anon

    I am not sure about privacy on the net. Is there such thing? Even your own e-mails can be hacked nowadays. But let us face the truth, using e-mails is still the easiest and fastest way to communicate other than live chatting with someone.

    Nov 04, 2011
  • anon

    Informative one... Keep sharing

    Aug 24, 2011
  • anon

    This is a no-brainer. The USPS must establish and operate the subdomain. The security and identity issues are solvable. To get things started on the right foot politically, I suggest the Congress should designate the Internet as a Post Road. Thanks to the OIG for this blog post update, and to the chief architect for his comments. It becomes the first Tweet for a new 'DotPost' Twitter account.

    Aug 06, 2011
  • anon

    No matter how much advertising you do or whatever you promise the public to use any of sites, they will never be secure. THERE is NO privacy whatsoever on the internet. Getting your mail delivered to your house or business is PRIVATE. In time there will be a terrible breach on the web site and people will realize sending the mail over the internet is not a good idea.

    Aug 05, 2011
  • anon

    I would have thought .ZIPS would be better? But, then again... Who am I????? What would I know Mr. CA @ USPS HQ!!! I'm just a Casual....

    Aug 04, 2011
  • anon

    1. USPS may be permitted by the UPU to use .post but it has not yet been approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission. Furthermore, attempts to get into digital services have been thwarted previously or shut down once operational. USPS is going to have to fight hard to get into the digital arena again given past experience. 2. Regarding whether they should use it depends on what they plan to do with it and in what timeframe. One advantage of .post is that it will use DNSSEC from the outset, and the other domains are playing catch up which is more difficult. Theoretically, it should be a more secure platform for digital transactions and communications. USPS is going to have to convince the Postal Regulatory Commission to use .post and then get each product or service on .post approved, as well. 3. Several of us on the New Products Committee came up with a number of business ideas for .post, but fundamentally the UPU and the community of postal operators will need to answer a basic question about adoption: is .post going to be a closed system or an open one? Can someone who is not on .post communicate with another person who is on .post? 4. Most consumers are happy in their ignorance about the security of e-mail services and online transactions from providers on .com and on other domains. They put up with phishing, identity theft, etc. to an extent and accept a certain amount of risk. It's conceivable that .post could reduce such risk dramatically and possibly eliminate much of the risk, but the question is how many consumers really believe they need it? 5. We are at an interesting juncture where .post, in-person proofing and the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) could all come together and present a unique opportunity for USPS. Hopefully USPS will act on the opportunity. Despite my nomination to be a lead for NSTIC for USPS, as much as I would have liked to regrettably I will not be here to see it through. Rich Epstein Chief Architect U.S. Postal Service Headquarters

    Aug 04, 2011
  • anon

    Thanks for great Information. I'm interested in this subject.

    Aug 03, 2011

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