These days, the Deutsche Post started its eBrief service. And the so called De-Mail is as well on its way. The common idea: Trustworthy, legally signed eMail. So far, so good. But we all know that its not the first approach for secure eMail. Some people are even using it actively, and some even beyond the reach of their corporate eMail systems. But when I look at my inbox, well below 1% of the incoming mails are signed and exactly 0% are encrypted.
Why should that change with new services which are expensive (to send the eBrief costs money like a real letter), have a complex registration procedure (you have to show up in person and with your ID card or - lucky one - your eID), and are difficult to use. The biggest problem: Yet another mailbox. I don't want to have another mailbox. I don't want to use websites to authenticate before I can access like I have experienced with other approaches. I just want to be able to use secure eMail (if I need it) with my existing mail accounts, my existing Microsoft Outlook (and NO new mail account I have to add to my outlook). Seamless. Without having to think much about. Without registration. And in a way that every recipient understands. The best way still is S/MIME, even while only few people really understand what happens there, at least besides the IT security people. But an eBrief? De-Mail? Why should I? Add another level of complexity to my communication? No way.
Besides this: De-Mail would also enable the state to communicate with me. They have a way to reliably send mail to me - do I really want them to have this option? Hey, I couldn't ignore that any more. That's far easier with the classical letters sent by snail mail.
Honestly, my reception of these initiatives is that someone tries to reinvent the wheel - one with five edges, not a round one.
I personally will further use my fax when it's about really reliable communication.