Here at Off the Grid News we usually talk about ways to make your life simpler. However, let’s face facts… technology is very much a part of our lives, and as long as it’s available, we’ll make use of it. That only makes sense. While we don’t want to become so dependent on technology that we can’t survive in a simpler world, neither should we be such purists that we refuse to take advantage of things that can actually make our lives run more smoothly.
While taking advantage of advancements in technology today, however, how do you protect yourself from people who can easily hijack your email, or confirm receipt of important emails, or even digitally sign documents? Join Bill Heid and Brian Brawdy on today’s episode of Off the Grid Radio as they interview Zafar Khan, the founder and CEO of RPost U.S. Inc., a company that others are talking about all over the cyber airwaves for their innovations in email security.
Off The Grid Radio
Released: July 15, 2011
Brian: Ladies and gentlemen, as the announcer says, welcome to Off the Grid News – the radio version of offthegridnews.com. Today, I’m Brian Brawdy, here as always with Mr. Bill Heid. Bill, how are you, sir?
Bill: Brian, I’m always well. You’re looking snappy.
Brian: I rode the bike to work today.
Bill: You rode a special kind of bike.
Brian: A special kind of bike. We’re not going to talk about it today because I’ll get all worked up and I’ll start talking about it and I’ll forget what we’re going to talk about …
Bill: You’re very excited about it.
Brian: Very excited. I can’t wait to tell everybody about the world’s first solar-powered bicycle. We’re not going to do that today but that helps me segue into what we want to talk about today, Bill, where “off the grid” doesn’t always mean low-tech, as you know. There are some off-the-grid solutions that can be high, high, high tech, cutting edge – the kind of stuff where you go “that was so smart, why didn’t I think of that?”
Bill: We’re not going to talk about making your own butter today?
Brian: We’re not going to talk about making your own butter or beans, beans the magical fruit, although thank you for everyone that sent the emails, the Twitters, the Facebooks, all the great feedback about one of our last shows – about cooking with survival soup beans. You know, Bill, people make fun of me. My friends make fun of me, going “really, Bri, that’s your big ‘from the mountain top bullet point of the day? Beans?’” I’m a huge fan.
Bill: Beans are fun. Beans are an off-the-grid – especially when you do your own beans – they’re an off-the-grid idea. But today’s idea is equally off-the-grid because almost nobody knows about this.
Brian: No one knows about it but it’s a good bit more high-tech than going to your garden and picking beans, but still something that in particular situations could make all the difference. Just like our beans could make all the difference in the world if you’re starving or you’re hungry, you need food – this particular topic that we’re going to discuss today, in that ilk, is just as important.
Bill: It is. Listen, we don’t live in a world … we have so many of our listeners, our readers, our customers that want to get back to the world of growing your own stuff, making your own butter – all of those things. The beautiful thing is, you can exercise the options to go ahead and live in that world. You can start to grow your own garden and do all that stuff, but some parts of our lives, we’re thrust into this technological/electronic age and we use the tools of that age whether we want to or not. They’re part of our zeitgeist; they’re part of our daily lives. We’re here and we have to use them. We no longer are men of letters in the old days, where we’re writing letters, but today we send people email. What we’re going to talk about today, and you know this thing better than I do, but what we’re going to talk about today is this idea of is it safe to send an email, how do we send an email, what’s going on and then this new thing that’s come aboard about how to safely send email. That’s what’s got me so excited about our guest today.
Brian: Absolutely. Think about it, to answer your question, is it safe to send an email? No. Simple answer. It isn’t. Look at the people in the media of late, and we’re not going to do Anthony Weiner jokes – we’re not going to do anything like that. But look at the people in the late who thought their communications were private and what happens when they’re not. Now, we’re all not going to get involved in something nefarious on Twitter, that’s not what we’re talking about. Think about when you send something electronically – I send something, as I did last evening to you and to our producer, Jeremy Jennings, cc’d him on it – I sent correspondence to you. I count on that correspondence being between you and me. I want to talk about Greg not being a snappy dresser or that Tom’s this way or that way whenever he’s on his lunch break – I don’t want everyone in the world knowing about it, right? So I send it to you – I want it for your eyes only. Fair enough?
Brian: Well, with today’s guest, we’re going to learn – and he’s the brains behind it, you talk to him for a couple of seconds and you go “man, that guy’s really smart.” He’s come up with an idea and a technology that allows me to do just that. I can send stuff to you knowing that no one else will have access to it because of its encrypted functions. Or, how’d you like the idea to be able to send registered mail, Bill, but you don’t have to run to the post office, don’t have to print it out – as you said, men of letters – don’t have to print it out on a piece of paper, don’t have to go to the post office, don’t have to pay them some kind of money to go “do you want someone to sign for this when we deliver it?” What if you could take all of that away and do it in a service that allows you to do it from the comfort of your own home, keeping your laptop close.
Brian: Instantaneously. Another great point. The ability to send huge files. Let’s say you’re using AOL or who else people use anymore for mail, Outlook or whatever – have you ever gotten this message, Bill, your pictures – Jeremy’s raising his hands – thank you, Jeremy, always nice to know that you’re following along as a producer. He’s tried to send pictures or maybe a video that’s too big and it can’t be sent – you get that little note going “no way, don’t bring that into the paint. There’s no way we’re going to let you attach that.” This service takes care of even that. When you’re looking for legal proof, when you’re looking for an electronic signature, when you’re looking to have any of that correspondence encrypted and even archived, we’re talking today to the brains behind the operation of rpost.com, the ability to do all the things we’ve discussed, Bill, and so much more. Say hello to Mr. Zafar Khan. Zafar, how are you sir?
Zafar: Good, how are you doing, Brian?
Brian: I’m doing great. As I said – I think you were on the line when we first started – God love you. The brains that it takes to come up with something like this. Do you know what I think, Bill, is always the mark of brilliance? Where someone else does it and you go “[snaps fingers] that’s so simple. Why didn’t I think of that?” Zafar, congratulations. Good golly, everybody’s talking about you. I’m on your website right now – the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Forbes, ComputerWorld, Los Angeles Business Journal, Los Angeles Lawyer, eWeek – the list goes on and on and on. We’re very excited to have you on our show.
Zafar: Thanks for having me, I appreciate it.
Brian: Let’s cut right to the skinny of this. I spent some time yesterday – I signed up for your service, which we’re going to tell our listeners throughout the show how they can get a free trial, a discounted free trial to be able to take advantage of your service. I signed up yesterday and, as I said, sent an email to Bill – an encrypted email to Bill and to Jeremy. But could you give our listeners an idea of why did you come up with this, Zafar? Was there a personal story where you got burnt, if you would, by sending an email that wasn’t as private or as protected as you first thought? What was the impetus behind this brilliant idea?
Zafar: That’s a good question. It always come down to if you’re sending important email – again, the RPost service, the Registered Email service, is about email of consequence, not your casual “do you want to meet for lunch?” email, but email that counts, email that has consequence if someone’s going to deny having received it. If there potentially is a dispute about who said what to whom at what point in time, if you’re sending information that you want to make more private or if you need to sign off electronically on documents and you don’t want to have to deal with faxing and printing and scanning and so on. The core of what we’re talking about is that proof, protection, e-signatures. We came up with the concept a number of years ago. This is being used today around the world by large companies, global companies, governments and also small businesses and individuals. It really originated from a consumer need. My co-founder, Tomkow, back in the day he bought a PalmPilot online – this again dates it a little bit – bought a PalmPilot online, sent an email canceling the order, ordered another PDA device and sure enough he got both in the mail two weeks later. He called the electronic retailer up and said “didn’t you get my cancellation email?” How many people send cancellation emails or wish they could send cancellation emails and notices and have proof of the fact that they received it at a particular point in time? In this case, unfortunately for Tomkow he sent that email as a standard email. The other party claimed not to have received it. He called them up and said “here it is in my sent folder. I have a copy of it, a record of it right here. It says I sent it at this point in time.” They said simply “look, you can move anything into that sent folder. You can change anything in that sent folder with a couple of clicks of a mouse. You can print anything out after it’s been altered. We did not receive it.” He looked and he said “here’s a copy. I’ll re-forward it to you.” It’s that easy to change things. Everyone can go to their email and hit forward and change any text they want. The people on the radio here probably would not do that, but other people might claim that they have altered it. We looked hard and wide and said “how would you have done this in the traditional paper and ink world?” You might have sent a Fed Ex or a courier document or a registered letter or certified letter, return receipt – there are lots of ways to do this – rely on fax logs and so on. But for email there’s no simple way to get proof of who said what to whom by email in a simple manner, low cost. There’s certainly no simple way to add the capabilities of encrypting that for privacy when that’s required because of the nature of the information that you’re sending. Often, people think of Outlook “read receipts” or AOL “read receipts” – keep in mind, these are simple text messages that come back. They can have those same problems – they can easily be edited. You can’t prove the content. There’s no record of the content attached. Often those require the receiver to participate. How many people here have sent an email and the receiver doesn’t respond? Often you’ll have the luxury of forcing them to reply and acknowledge receipt of your important message at a particular point in time. Even if you did, that again is simple text that can be edited with a couple of clicks of a mouse. When there’s consequence around who said what to whom and when, when dollars are at stake, people tend to forget what was discussed, what was transmitted, and deny having received important or critical email. In this case, with the cancellation notice for that PalmPilot, that PDA, the problem was that Tomkow did not have a record that would stand up to scrutiny. So we came up with a service we call Registered Email.
Brian: Zafar, we’re going to have to run to a quick commercial break and then I want to pick it right up from there because I knew there had to be a story that launched this all. Ladies and gentlemen, come on back. In the interim, while you’re listening through the commercial break, check rpost.com/offthegrid/index.php for more information.[0:11:40 – 0:15:53 break]
Brian: Ladies and gentlemen, as the announcer says, better ideas for off-the-grid living and, Bill, we have one of those ideas today for sure. Zafar was saying as we went into the break the particular story about his co-founder, his partner, getting a PalmPilot he didn’t want. You’ve got to love going “we didn’t get your email. Tough luck.”
Bill: That’s a great point. I think the grid, as we say, doesn’t want you to cover yourself. The grid wants you to expose yourself and be vulnerable and what this is, is a fighting back tool. Face it, we live in a crazy, litigious world. Everybody’s got an attorney, everybody wants to sue over everything today. America is the most litigious country in the world. You really have to get your ducks in a row in today’s world. Getting your ducks in a row’s not enough – you’ve got to document that you had your ducks in a row. One of the reasons why I wanted to have Zafar – one, I met Zafar before personally and I know him and I know what he’s all about, but the idea of protecting yourself – it’s a dangerous world out there. Whether people want to admit it or not, as Representative Weiner found out, it’s a dangerous world when someone starts to come after you and grab data. Everyone’s got to pick and choose how they want to communicate very carefully and then protect that communication. I think as we move into the next few years, it’s going to get even more dangerous. This is a service that he’s come up with that I think is one of the most important. It’s Facebook-level, in my mind, it’s that important that people ought to know this is a major turning point. It’s a tipping point. And, I think he can probably tell us after he finishes his co-founder story, there’s court cases that have said “this is legal documentation.” That’s huge.
Brian: Sure! And, Zafar, I was thinking during the break that attorneys love your service. Obviously, real estate companies – people that legal proof is an important part of their life, day in and day out. But as you said, when there’s something of consequence, little guys like me – to be able to have an email going “no, no, no. I returned the product. You got the email saying that I wanted the service cancelled …” For us little guys, Zafar, it makes me look like I have a whole team of professional big wigs behind me. You send out one of your registered emails and it makes other companies – behemoths of companies – have to sit up and take notice of little old me.
Zafar: That’s absolutely correct. When the receiver gets a registered email, they know you know they got it. They can’t shirk responsibility. They can’t dodge. They can’t claim they didn’t get it. There’s a time stamp on it so they know you know they got it at a particular point in time. They need to react. Now, there are a lot of situations for individuals that report using it. There are a lot of things where you’re sending something to your landlord or your homeowners’ association – “the dishwasher’s broken for the third week in a row, come fix it.” It gets fixed right away. A lot of our users report that when they’re dealing with ex-husbands and wives and child custody issues, a lot of these end up in court and the Registered Email service gives them the upper hand. It gives them prove of exactly what transpired even if the other person alters a particular email. Bill, you mentioned Facebook level – there’s a great case right now going on, a $25 billion value of an email. There’s a gentleman that claims to have cut and paste email from his online email program into a word document in 2004. Those emails are correspondence with Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook. Now, a number of years later, those emails that claim that Zuckerberg gave this gentleman 50 percent of the shares of Facebook at its early days – those emails are worth $25 billion, should this gentleman be able to prove that those emails are authentic. Unfortunately for him, his $25 billion mistake is that he did not send them by registered email message. He did not know it was going to have such consequence eight years later. Right now he is wishing he did. Those emails will likely get denied admissibility in court because he did not send them using a service like the RPost Registered Email service. There’s also situations – in fact, around tax time I receive an email from my tax accountant saying “here are the documents that you need to sign.” I looked at it and I said “they just posted these online and asked me to download them from a website. That’s crazy. It has all of my personal information, social security numbers and so on. I called them up and said “that’s exactly the type of correspondence that you should send encrypted.” Once you post that online, you have no idea if it’s ever going to be wiped clean or who has access to it. If you’re dealing with anything that has financial consequence, send it using the Registered Email service and send it encrypted. There you have proof of the fact that you did encrypt it. In case there is a problem down the road, you have proof that that problem wasn’t caused by you. You sent it encrypted. You have proof of who said what and when.
Brian: Zafar, I’m on your website now at rpost.com and our listeners can go to rpost.com/offthegrid/index.php. What is that saying, Bill, the best form of flattery is imitation? Zafar, your latest blog post – there’s other companies now attempting, seeing the brilliance of what you and your partner launched, companies now trying to work around your patents, aren’t there?
Zafar: Fortunately for us, early on we realized the value of this invention. We filed for patents. We now have 35 patents that have been granted with world-wide coverage. We have different countries, like the country of Canada and the country of Switzerland, their governments are trying to copy this and infringe our patents and we’ve taken appropriate action to defend the intellectual property and invention. But importantly, we’re not just about inventing and coming up with a concept and filing patents and defending those patents. We’re about continuous innovation, building on top of the core invention – that Registered Email service. Today, those of you that decide to sign up and use the service, you get not only proof but you also get the most advanced email encryption services for ultimate privacy. You get a number of ways to sign documents without having to print/sign/fax. You get large file transfer services. You get PDF conversion services without having to pay for expensive software. You get other innovations that we’ve built in for better collaboration among people that you’re communicating with. The list keeps going on. We continue to innovate. We have the best product out there. And we were the original ones, or the pioneers, in this area with the patents to protect the invention.
Brian: And I would say, Zafar, one of the things I thought was pretty cool – when you send an email, you can attach a file size up to 200 megabytes. For our listeners, that’s a pretty big deal. Some of our listeners may be sending pictures of the holiday or maybe a small video or some other things. 200 megabytes – that’s a great size.
Zafar: Where that comes in, where it needs to go registered or you need extra privacy, is again when you get documents – real estate documents or a lease, for example, and you might need to scan that and attach it to an email and send it to someone and the file gets big. Or if you have multiple documents you need to send. So, yes, you can send up to 200 megabytes and you can use the service from any browser and it associates or links to any email account that you may be using today. There’s nothing that the receiver needs on their end. It’s an open system in the sense that you can send to any recipient. It’s a private, open system in the sense that you have proof and you can also send it with encryption for privacy as needed.
Brian: The recipient doesn’t need to download any software, they don’t have to have any special hardware, they don’t have to subscribe to the service – you’re in total control. One of the things, Zafar, that I also thought – we only have one minute before we go to the commercial break – I like the idea that in the actual email format, I could either let the recipient know that it was going to be a registered email or I could hide that a little bit and it just has it come through as a standard email. I thought that was pretty crafty on your part as well. In roughly 30 seconds, can you give us an idea as to why that was so important?
Zafar: Yeah. Interesting. That innovation came from comments from lawyers. The lawyers were sending it registered and marked to opposing counsel soothe other party would know they know they got it, know this was important and know they had the proof record. But when they wanted to send to their own clients, when their own clients started getting marked, registered email from their own attorney, they started to panic – why is the attorney covering their self by sending registered emails to the client. So they asked if we could come up with the unmarked version, so it’s in a sense stealth registered email. You still get the proof that you need, the other party gets it and it looks like a standard email with no markings on it.
Brian: Ladies and gentlemen, we’re going to run to a quick commercial break. Come on back. In the interim, check out rpost.com/offthegrid/index.php.[0:25:59 – 0:30:13 break]
Brian: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back. Today, Mr. Bill Heid and Zafar Khan from RPost – the prove, sign, encrypt and archive email service that is breaking all kinds of records when it comes to protecting your email privacy in a host of ways. They’ve got big name companies, Bill, as you know – like AT&T, Symantec – we could go on and on, not only with the people that have written about them but the companies that have teamed up with them – PepsiCo – big names. Zafar, you were saying before that when it’s an email of consequence, I think was the term that you used, us regular folks now get to elevate it to the level of a PepsiCo or an IntellePeer or the like. Can you tell us, in addition to the Palm, which you guys must have saved and it’s probably up in a shrine in your office – you could see the one artifact, if you will, that started all this. Can you give us a couple of other stories that you’ve heard from other people that purchase your products and how it’s been a lifesaver for them?
Zafar: There are lots of endless stories. One that comes to mind is recently some lawyers ended up in court and they had sent a certified letter, US Mail, with the green card – the certified receipt. They were confident, they went in there saying “he got the notice at this point in time, here’s the receipt to prove it.” And the other person simply said “that envelope was empty. There was nothing in it.” They were all proud, they had proof that he had received it, he signed for it, but they didn’t have a record of what was in the envelope. That can count. The IRS, at tax time, they get lots of certified mail and some of those envelopes are empty. Proving not just delivery but proving what was said, what was inside … again, we read a poll that was published by the Legal Technology Journal of London and in that poll they discussed the most common misconceptions of email. People often believe if they copy or blind copy themselves, and there are probably people on the show that do this, if they get the copy that means the other person got the copy. That’s absolutely false. People often believe that if they don’t get a bounce-back notice then they can assume that the email got there and, again, that’s absolutely false. Most recipient’s servers turn off those capabilities. So just because you do not get a bounce-back does not mean that email was received. Some people say “I store everything forever. I archive everything.” Again, that gives you some record. It gives you a record of what you claim to have sent, but doesn’t protect you from the other party claiming that they didn’t receive it. Again, going back to that Outlook or AOL read receipt, those are simple texts that require compliant action by the receiver. Furthermore, if you happen to be lucky enough to get one back, it tells you nothing about the content, like that US Mail green card – nothing about the content. It can easily be edited with a couple clicks of a mouse, just like your sent item in your sent folder. I think this is why people get – often, once people are burned, then they turn to the service and they keep using it, but again not for all their email, but for their email of consequence, email that commit either themselves or the other party. There are countless situations where a price or dollars are at stake and there’s a dispute about who said what, when, when it favors one party or the other. Going back to the landlord situation, people want to move out and they want to give notice. Often people claim not to have received proper notice to be able to hold on to that security deposit a little bit longer. Often in property management, people have to deal with a homeowners’ association. There are certain requirements to send notice or even for the managers to send out emails to get people to pay – collections notices, invoices that independent contractors might need to send to a company to get paid. Product cancellations – the list goes on and we can certainly talk about more if you’d like.
Bill: Zafar, I have an unusual story for you. A guy was working – and this is something I read about – he had a list, he was part of the human resources department, he sent an excel spreadsheet to his home to work that night. What it was in the excel spreadsheet was a list of everyone in the company and how much money they made. He sent that to his house to do more work and his daughter found the email in the inbox, because the daughter shared the computer with her father, and opened it up and found out how much her friend’s dad made. Then that was the subject of conversation at school the next day. It found its way back to the workplace which created a huge disruption. That’s one of those things that should have been sent encrypted. It would have been so simple. People got fired, in this case, in this business. Lives were changed. Families were disrupted. People got fired over something very, very small that could have and should have been controlled.
Zafar: You’re absolutely right. The key thing about the RPost service is the simplicity. It sounds complicated, it sounds like something that only businesses use but we have lots of individuals using the service for the reason being that it is so simple. One extra click and they can send it registered. One further click and they can choose to send that encrypted. The recipient doesn’t need anything on their end. Absolutely – when it’s that easy … what’s the potential risk of that financial information getting out there or your social security number getting out there? Or when you have to respond and give someone your credit card information, that information getting out there. It is so easy to intercept email en route. People have automated systems to look for these types of numbers and if they see these numbers they capture them en route to the recipient and they can use them for all sorts of things. The key thing here is, if it’s that easy, if it’s one extra click, then why would you not want to send that information in an encrypted, private manner over the registered email system? Certainly you should if it’s simple and low-cost.
Bill: I was thinking as well – we’ve had attorneys on here before and a lot of our friends are attorneys, some are Constitutional lawyers – we’ve got this problem with a bureaucracy and with administrative law. It’s not so much the legislative branch but I can think of other ways to use this, Zafar, and I’m thinking of – if you’ve got Nancy Pelosi’s email address and you want to get her attention, obviously you can do this in a very profound way. A lot of them are going to contact pages so you can’t do it, but a lot of smaller, local bureaucrats, elected representatives still have email and if you want to communicate – if you filed for a permit and said “are you in receipt of my permit?” You send that registered to them and they acknowledge they got it, you’re locking them down, as it were, and you’re making them less effective – their arbitrariness less effective. You’re imposing rule of law – I hate to sound too broad spectrum here, but you’re imposing rule of law on the bureaucrats by using a way that locks them down. In other words, you’re sealing and cementing what you’ve said you’ve done and what they say they’re supposed to do. I can see this – if you’re angry or happy with a politician, if you have a beef – I can see this as a huge way to get someone’s attention, because most of it’s going to be delete, delete, delete, or “I didn’t get that.” From the political side, Brian and Zafar, I see this as an amazing – maybe even a tipping point, to use the language of the book, where if enough people use this tool you might be able to effect change politically as well.
Zafar: Importantly, when the sender chooses to send a registered email message, encrypted or otherwise, it comes into the inbox and it has the word “registered” in the subject line. When they open it up it displays – they know you know they got it, so people do respond. I think, at the end of this, we’ll give you a simple way to try the service and you can see for yourself how much faster people react when you send it as a registered email message.
Brian: Zafar, not only that, when I tested it out last evening it really was the one click that you say. You’ve got to put in your email, you make up a password, you do this or that to get into the service initially, but it wasn’t a huge time constraint on my part at all to be able to do it and to even send it encrypted. We’re going to run to a quick commercial break. When we get back, I’d like you to talk a little bit about the encrypted function because Bill and Jeremy got an email in advance with what the password was going to be when the email arrived, which I thought was pretty cool as well. When we come back, we want to talk about that and a very special offer that they’ve made just for our listeners. Come on back, right after this quick commercial break.[0:40:02 – 0:44:16 break]
Brian: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to Off the Grid Radio. As the announcer says – getting you ready to prepare for the worst. What if the worst is sending an email and either the contents, Bill, or the receiver of that email doesn’t get an email you were counting on them to receive. That could very well, in some situations, be the worst. That’s why we’re talking today to Zafar Khan from RPost, to mitigate that situation.
Bill: I think it’s an important thing. We talked about it being a – it’s certainly a confusing world out there with people who have tools – Zafar was mentioning there’s folks out there with filters in the greater server world just looking for your emails, something that’s of value, that they can strain out and mine and use. We’ve heard data mining … it’s just part of the world. They’re going to get more sophisticated so the players are getting sophisticated and a lot of folks – like me, I’m not very sophisticated – I need help. I need that team, as you mentioned before, to help me. But I see this as a dangerous world. I see people who are just sending emails out promiscuously as if everyone was like them, right? They have a world view that purports the idea that everyone’s nice; everyone loves you. Well that’s not true. Everyone doesn’t love you. So when you get on the grid, you’ve got to get off the grid. The way I like to look at the RPost thing is, there’s times when you have to get on the grid. You’ve got to use the tools that are available – tools that make our life better, really. But then when you do, you’ve got to click a little off-the-grid button when you’re on the grid and go off-grid when you send your emails. This is how you do it. This is the secret.
Brian: Bill, I’ve got a question for you. Imagine you go to Fed Ex and you’re going to send me a package. The Fed Ex driver goes “OK, it’s going to take me two days.” You go “why is that?” “Well, because I’ve got to run over to Kinko’s, I’ve got to open your Fed Ex package, Bill, I’ve got to photocopy what you’re sending to Brian. Then I’ll reseal it in the envelope and I’ll send it on to Brian.” That’s how that works. Would you be fired up about that? You’d be pretty ticked off, wouldn’t you? That’s what Zafar’s company’s been able to do at RPost is that you send an email – it sits on a server somewhere. Someone’s got a photocopy. It’d be like Fed Ex going “no, let me run over and make a duplicate copy before I deliver it to Brian …” But not with Zafar’s stuff, as you know, with RPost you’re able to do it so there’s no photocopy in the middle. It goes from you to the person that’s intended to receive and the only thing – and Zafar, here’s what I’d like you to comment on because, obviously, you’re a good bit smarter than I am – is it not true, to take legalese, is it not true that the only thing that’s stored on your servers is the fact that the recipient received it but not the content of those emails themselves?
Zafar: That’s an important point. The RPost system doesn’t even store that information. We return a receipt – a registered receipt – back to the sender. That receipt is for the sender to hold maintain and save as they would like, in case they need to use that in the future. The RPost system doesn’t store any information other than the log of the traffic that you’re sending. It’s very nice in that we’re processing the transactions and we’re returning the records back to the sender. We’re processing them in a way that either gives you proof, allows you to obtain recipient handwritten, scripted signatures on contracts, or for you to sign contracts and documents electronically with your mouse or encrypt it for privacy. It sends in a simple manner. The RPost system stores nothing, returns the records back to you, a couple of extra clicks for the sender and the recipient doesn’t need to do anything on their end.
Brian: Bill, that’s really off-the-grid – no pun intended – off-the-grid communication. It’s not stored anywhere so you know it’s between you, me – everybody else can butt out.
Bill: It’s another one of those solutions – and this may sound like an infomercial today, Brian …
Brian: Well, Bill, tell me more!
Bill: Seriously, you’ve got to do this. You can’t go into this world and act as if nothing bad’s ever going to happen to you, because we both know it’s going to happen. We live in this litigious world, in a crazy world, where things are coming around from left field … you have no idea. A lot of our listeners have all the same issues – we all deal with insurance companies and a lot of people have spouses and ex-spouses that they’re communicating with …
Brian: Landlords, homeowners’ associations … I have to tell you, I didn’t realize, when Zafar said that if it doesn’t bounce back that doesn’t mean that they didn’t get it. I didn’t know that. I thought if you sent an email and you don’t get a bounce-back – [snaps] I’m in baby. They got it. I had no clue until Zafar was telling us that.
Zafar: More than 50 percent of the recipient servers and ISPs turn off that because of spam abuse issues and other security concerns. That’s probably the most important thing to put out here – just because you don’t get a bounce-back does not mean it was received. Then further, there’s public research out there that says 3 percent of non-bulk, business-to-business email goes undelivered for a variety of reasons. Someone can easily, simply point to the public research and say “I didn’t get it. Public research says not all email’s delivered and you don’t have a record. I didn’t get it.” It’s that simple to get out of any situation.
Brian: It’s almost like some of the postal carriers that would go home and leave their …
Bill: I was just going to tell you the same thing. One of the things my old friend Gary Halbert used to do is talk about a story that when you’re a marketer and you’re sending out letters, if you send it out anything other than first class – if you mess with a first class letter, it’s a felony; but anything less than that, it’s not a felony. What’s the opposite of a felony? It’s free time for the postal deliverer. Around here, Zafar, what they do is they dig big ditches in their backyard and – there’s this one guy in Chicago that had tons and tons and tons of mail that he just threw away. So what you were saying, that idea’s not just confined to the postal crew, that’s part of our email life as well. There’s a ditch somewhere where there’s a bunch of mail buried.
Brian: Yeah, where someone gets lazy, they don’t want to deliver it so they set it on fire in their garbage bins.
Zafar: Just to give you an example, one of our guys was in a law firm, in the IT department. They were installing the RPost system for the firm and they had a problem with their mail server and there was panic in the IT department. The mail server stopped sending and mail was queuing. They kept saying “delete the queue, delete the queue. Restart the server.” Our guy was sitting there saying “if you delete the queue of mail that’s about to go out, all these senders have sent this business critical, important email and it’s just going to vanish. It’s not even going to hit the internet.” So your email – a lot of people use managed service providers and hosted email and ISPs – you don’t even know if your email left their premise. You don’t even know if it actually hit the internet.
Brian: Zafar, I was just going to say real quick, in our closing three minutes, what I’d love to do – and on behalf of Bill and everyone here, thank you for extending the offer – I know Bill uses it now, I use it – but we’re fired up for our listeners, it was very cool of you to extend a special offer. They can go to RPost – the “r”, I’m assuming, meaning registered – rpost.com/offthegrid/index.php. Could you give us an idea as to what that special program unique to our listeners is going to be?
Zafar: Sure. We did something very special for you because we wanted everyone to be able to try it and then use it in a very nice deal. We set up a program just for your listeners at the rpost.com/offthegrid/index.php link where you can go on, you can put your credit card in and buy the service for the first 30 days for a dollar, for all the uses you want to use, all the testing you want to do, all the emails to Nancy Pelosi you want to send or to your landlord or homeowners’ association or whatever it might be … to cancel this order and change these reservations and send notices to your insurance broker … all of these things you can do for a dollar for the first 30 days. After that, it will roll into a $79 purchase and that will last for up to a year’s usage and the details are on that site.
Brian: When you think about it, $79 – what this could save you, Bill?
Zafar: That’s about equal to about three Fed Ex these days with the gas premiums they now charge off to the end user.
Brian: Even, Zafar, getting the envelope, getting the stamps, getting the Fed Ex label, getting over to Fed Ex. All the other things that go in and around. You say what’s it cost to send Fed Ex now – $15 for an overnight – well that doesn’t take into account gas, your time, everything else going on. One click, Bill. Click and it’s gone. $79 is a great deal, after the one month – the 30 day trial – it’s only going to be a dollar for our listeners to take full advantage of the service that Bill and I do.
Bill: Given the world that we’re in, Brian, I don’t think that you have an option. I think – obviously, you can do whatever you want, you have volitional will, right? You cannot do this … but what do we say? It’s almost a fool’s errand to go into the world without some sort of protection. I think you really, at a minimum, anyone listening to this should sign up for the dollar thing and play with it and see what they think we’ve gone to great extent to try to get Zafar to do this and he’s complied very graciously. Everyone, please take advantage of, at a minimum, testing this thing.
Brian: And do you know what, Bill? God love our listeners. Most of our people – and Bill and I and most certainly Zafar – no one’s saying that the world is such an evil place, but in certain times even the best intentioned people – think “Welcome to the Jungle” – remember the old song by Guns ‘N Roses – “Welcome to the Jungle”? We do live in the time where even though you want to feel good about everybody, Kumbayah, you’ve got to protect yourself. Think, for a month, one dollar – try it out. You’re going to be blown away, as I was, when I went through very simple – takes you two minutes max and that’s with my illiteracy when it comes to how to work computers. Two minutes max to sign up and then you’re off to the races. Zafar, at rpost.com/offthegrid/index.php. What else do our listeners need to know?
Zafar: It’s like what you said – good fences or high fences make for good neighbors. Just the fact that you’re using the service, you’ll find that people respond faster and you’ve eliminated any chance of anything damaging happening or happening that costs you money or time. Also, it’s open 24/7 so you don’t have to worry about deadlines, running to the Fed Ex office or the post office to do what you need to do. You can sign documents and send them any time of the day or night and use the service, like you said, right from your living room – no high gas charges to run to the post office or Fed Ex or Kinko’s to send a fax.
Brian: Ladies and gentlemen, throughout the show – and we’re very thankful – we’ve been speaking with Zafar Khan from rpost.com. When you’re talking about registered emails, when you’re talking about encrypted emails, when you’re talking about “it absolutely has to get there” and you need to know that the intended recipient actually received it – and I love your term, Zafar, “emails of consequence” – what a great term. When it’s an email of consequence, you have to check out rpost.com/offthegrid/index.php. Bill, before we go, any last minute thoughts?
Bill: I just think it’s a wonderful service and in today’s world it’s just, as I said before, it’s not an option. You’ve got to figure out a way to protect yourself with your emails of consequence.
Brian: Zafar, thank you so much. We’re going to go ahead and run but I know that Bill is looking forward to seeing you. We’re going to Belize here before too long, so we’re looking forward to catching up with you in person. Thank you so much for your time.
Zafar: Thank you very much.
Brian: Ladies and gentlemen, that is our show. Again, because I know you’re excited about the special offer – please check out rpost.com/offthegrid/index.php. As always, on behalf of Bill Heid, Jeremy our producer and everyone here at Off the Grid Radio and Solutions from Science, our parent company, thank you so much for listening. Please continue to email us with your questions, your comments, your critiques, your suggestions. A lot of the content that we bring into the show we get, believe it or not, from your emails, when you send them to [email protected] Of course you can find us on our new and improved Facebook page. Bill, what do you think?
Bill: It’s amazing, Brian.
Brian: It’s looking pretty cool. I’m with you. Facebook.com/offthegridnews and, of course, you can follow us on Twitter @offgridnews. Thank you so very much. We know an hour is a big chunk of your day and it truly is an honor to have you spending it here with us.