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Ziplip.Com Debuts Private Untraceable Email. Inc has launched what it claims is the first completely private email and file transfer via the web, and it's free to use, as the company will rely on advertising to pay its way. It enables users to send encrypted emails - using up to 128- bit encryption - using their existing email address, without leaving an audit trail or a copy of the email on any servers anywhere, claims the company.

Attempts have been made to provide secure emails in the past, but they have all levied some sort of charge. launched its service last year, for which it charged and technology such as that offered by Tumbleweed Software Inc is aimed at enterprises than consumers.

Users go to and compose an email inserting their address and that of the recipient. The recipient is then sent an email informing them that a message is waiting for them at with the appropriate URL - that drives up traffic, hence enabling the company to sell advertising, which it will do after the official launch on July 4.

The recipient retrieves the message from the web site and the message is then destroyed. If the sender wants to be doubly sure nobody but the intended recipient reads the email, they can use a previously-agreed password or ask a question, the answer to which only the recipient will know, such as "where did we eat dinner last night?" The recipient will have to answer the question before they can retrieve the message.

In order to heighten the level of privacy protection, ZipLip does not enable recipients to print or save the messages "without difficulty," says ZipLip founder and CEO Kon Leong - they can only read them and write down the content physically elsewhere, However, it does accept attachments and they can be stored on the reader's hard drive.

In addition to the web site's advertising, ZipLip plans to use viral marketing techniques to promote the service or to sell to other companies in a space in the footer of every message. The system is currently in beta. Future versions will move ZipLip up the food chain, creating customized enterprise versions that can be adapted for various vertical applications. However, Leong was reluctant to talk about timetables for that as he says many of the enterprises he is talking to are still putting the finishing touches to their Y2K strategies and do not have a lot of time for other projects. The list of potential companies is thought to be headed by application service providers.
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Publication:Computergram International
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 17, 1999
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