[Noisebridge-discuss] Private Address Forwarding proposal to USPS

Adrian Chadd adrian.chadd at gmail.com
Thu Oct 17 19:16:37 UTC 2013

Take a page or two from information theory - use a forward error correction
code as part of the unique identifier, as well as a checksum. That way you
can identify whether the address is corrupt.

Choose symbols that aren't going to clash - eg, all uppercase or numeric,
no letter O (ie, number 0), no letter I (ie, number 1), etc, etc.


On 17 October 2013 12:05, Lee Sonko <lee at lee.org> wrote:

> Sai, I'm intrigued! Here's some questions.
> With current addresses, there is some built-in redundancy. Slightly
> misaddressed letters usually reach their destination now. What schemes can
> build in redundancy to this plan?
> Maybe forward error correction? A parity bit?
> With this scheme, 1 incorrect character could send the letter to the other
> side of the world. If the letter is accidentally sent to, for instance,
> Guam, the post office will incur extra unneeded expense. How can such
> problems be avoided?
> Maybe limiting the geographic delivery area. Internal checking of names
> against addresses
> Junk mailers will want to be able to send mail to every home in a defined
> area. They do this now. It is a great source of revenue for the post office
> and some people actually like it. The proposal should include a way for
> people in a local area to still receive such mail. This seems easy to
> implement from a technical standpoint: the mailing lists would be handled
> confidentially by USPS.
> I looked on your website. Your info is very complete and intensive. I got
> lost after 10 minutes of looking at it. Can you tell us laypersons about
> sending positive or negative feedback to USPS about your proposal?
> On Wed, Oct 16, 2013 at 6:48 PM, Sai <noisebridge at saizai.com> wrote:
>> http://s.ai/paf
>> I've proposed the USPS adopt Private Address Forwarding, and the USPS'
>> comments are in.
>> tl;dr proposal: Google Voice for postal mail. The USPS assigns you a
>> unique ID, you tell them where to forward that ID, and they can't
>> disclose who it belongs to or where it goes without court process or
>> your permission. You could get mail that's just addressed to "PAF
>> 13JS-00EG-C, United States", and it'd automagically get routed to you.
>> You can also choose to give UPS, FedEx, etc permission to access the
>> forwarding info if you want.
>> tl;dr benefits: Getting mail while preserving your privacy; never
>> having to update your address w/ everyone when you move (just w/ the
>> USPS); cheaper & easier than PO boxes.
>> Take a look & tell them (and me) what you think. :-)
>> Enjoy,
>> - Sai
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