In a move seen as profiteering by many open web groups such as the W3C and the Open Web Foundation, all emails will soon require an electronic postage stamp in order to be sent. The stamps will be available worldwide and can be bought in packs of six from Post Office websites, once purchased they can be dragged and dropped onto the top right hand corner of an email and will stay in place using a virtual adhesive. First and second class stamps can be purchased and delivery times are expected to be one and two days respectively.
Many countries are planning festive E-stamps to coincide with national and religious holidays, and although the prices are still being finalised it is thought that the new scheme will net most Governments 10-40% of increased total revenue each year from their sales.
The new E-Stamps are also thought to be a first step in cutting out spam and unnecessary emails, however there is mild concern from consumer groups that it will now take at least a day for an email to reach its recipient rather than the current 1-2 seconds.