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Thursday, October 2 12:01 EST

USPS Sues Internet Users

By Jordan Baugher

Washington, D.C. - The United States Postal Service surprised citizens and lawmakers today by filing thousands of lawsuits against netizens with active e-mail addresses. Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the use of e-mail violates the government-approved monopoly the USPS currently enjoys.

Art Benedum, a lawyer representing the Postal Service, quoted the part of the new law that grants the authority for this action. "Any business/government agency who has lost money because of services now provided freely by the Internet may sue to regain those funds, so long as their company/agency's name is a four-letter acronym."

Among the first to be slapped with a lawsuit was 7-year-old Regina Wells, who has been communicating with her father, a Marine in Iraq, via e-mail. When asked if she felt unfairly targeted by this legal action, she responded: "What'h a lawthoot?"

Ian Matthews, a specialist in law pertaining to gadgetry, explained that the USPS is now cracking down on what it calls 'postal pirates'. "This is an organization which has seen a 28 percent decrease in revenue since the rise of the Internet. They used to get royalties of 34 or 37 cents for every letter sent, but now letters can be sent for free, through what we call 'peer 2 peer' mail-sending."

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Postal authorities are trying to get new legislation passed, banning these 'web sites' where these so-called 'e-mails' originate. If this fails, they have a back up plan to force Internet users to buy 'digital stamps'. "The digital stamps can be purchased directly from us by credit card, and can be used as 'attachments' with every e-mail sent. You don't even have to lick them," explained USPS R & D Vice President Nicholas Johnson. When asked why the Postal Service had a Research and Development department in the first place, he replied, "No comment."

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