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[Discuss] need to set up fax-mail system

On Fri, Aug 26, 2011 at 10:31:28PM -0400, Jeff Kinz wrote:
> Hi all, posting from a new email address.
> I want to implement a system that sends faxes by email, whilst keeping
> the fax contents secure from prying eyes and maintaining some degree of
> certainty that the claimed sender is the actual sender.

Why are you bothering with faxes? They have largely been
replaced by:

1. email attached files of any sort
2. email attached PDFs
3. secure "mail" systems which are generally email notifications
   and an http/ssl document management system

(In [3], you get an email note and a URL. The originator calls
you to give you a username and temporary password; you change
the password and get your document. From then on, you're a user
and can receive and potentially transmit in the same way. Easy.)

I bought a new multisuperultraprint thingy for the office to
replace our fax machine. It can fax, but people use it much more
often to turn a stack of paper docs into PDFs that get deposited
on an SMB mount.

> Ultimately I just want to see all fax machines go away. 

That's happening.

> I think almost everyone knows how this can be done without writing any 
> new software, just re-purposing tools we already have. 
> I'd like to know if anyone sees problems with this basic idea, as in
> sane or not sane? 

> Anyone see Problems? 
> Scaling is known issue but I want to hear it anyway.

> I assume that more people have email today that have fax machines and so
> would probably rather get a fax by email than by fax.


> Also I assume PDF's suck and/or are an ongoing security hazard and/or
> a continuing headache to wrangle and/or don't give people sufficient access
> to their text content so they can't be searched or indexed.

Likely false.

> also assume that the software to hold key and crypt/decrypt will run on
> Linux, *NIX, Darwin, BSD's Windows, IOS, Android, Wince. [ or can be 
> made to run there]

Biggest problem of all: you are proposing a secure system where
it is nontrivial for new users to join the network.

Second biggest: you have to set up a real PKI that humans will
have to understand to use. OK, maybe that's even bigger than the

Third biggest: the problem is already being solved in much
simpler ways.


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