Feeds

Santa menaced by sex offender postie

US Postal Service grinches Christmas

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The US Postal Service has pulled the plug on a Santa Claus letter service which has run since 1954.

Thousands of letters sent by children around the world to "Santa Claus, North Pole" were opened by volunteers and replies written and sent. Envelopes were returned with a North Pole postmark. [The North Pole in question is in Alaska]

But last year a postal worker recognised one of the volunteers in Maryland as a registered sex offender. The offender was stopped before getting hold of any letters but the incident has led to big changes in how the programme operates.

Volunteers now have to go through ID checks and no longer get access to kid's names and addresses. Instead they get the letter, with names redacted, with a code number in place of the address. After the reply is written it is matched with a code to find the correct child's name and address. But not all post offices can deal with the hassle involved.

The changes have proved too much for volunteers in Christmas-obsessed North Pole, Alaska.

A Postal Service spokeswoman based in Anchorage told USA Today: "It's always been a good program, but we're in different times and concerned for the privacy of the information."

So the Operation Santa Program will still work, but those letters with the North Pole mark won't be handled by volunteers in the town. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
WRISTJOB LOVE BONANZA: justWatch sex app promises blind date hookups
Mankind shuffles into the future, five fingers at a time
Every billionaire needs a PANZER TANK, right? STOP THERE, Paul Allen
Angry Microsoftie hauls auctioneers to court over stalled Pzkw. IV 'deal'
Apple's Mr Havisham: Tim Cook says dead Steve Jobs' office has remained untouched
'I literally think about him every day' says biz baron's old friend
Cops apologise for leaving EXPLOSIVES in suitcase at airport
'Canine training exercise' SNAFU sees woman take home booming baggage
Oi, London thief. We KNOW what you're doing - our PRECRIME system warned us
Aye, shipmate, it be just like that Minority Report
Flaming drone batteries ground commercial flight before takeoff
Passenger had Something To Declare, instead fiddled while plane burned
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.