Digital Chicken

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Digital Chicken was among the earliest implementations of an Internet email to fax gateway, active for several months during the mid-1990s.

The Toronto-based gateway was created by Dr. Robert Riley through Internet service provider Planet Communications.[1] When email was sent to one of the designated addresses, the text was transmitted as fax to a designated party such as a Canadian government agency. For example, an email sent to was converted to a fax transmission to the Attorney General of Ontario.[2] The service initially lacked a formal domain name, therefore email routing of the form "utgpu!plan9!chyk!" was required until late 1993.[3]

Many of these "" addresses were included in Seth Godin's book, E-mail Addresses of the Rich and Famous (ISBN 0-201-40893-7, Addison-Wesley, 1994), although these addresses were not maintained by the recipients.[2]

Digital Chicken's hosting was changed from Planet Communications to UUNET in November 1993. The arrangements with Planet were terminated because of what Riley indicated were "complaints from certain government agencies".[4] Digital Chicken was discontinued entirely in May 1994.[2] By that time, The Phone Company ( had established email-fax gateway coverage for Toronto.[5]


  1. ^ Sambolec, Richard. "fax gateway to Ontario, Canada (fwd)". TELECOM Digest/comp.dcom.telecom. Retrieved 2007-11-20. 
  2. ^ a b c "Feedback". New Scientist. 11 February 1995. Retrieved 2007-11-20. 
  3. ^ "Extensive Govt. Fax/Email Gateways Provided in Canada". EFFector. Electronic Frontier Foundation. 29 October 1993. Retrieved 2007-11-20.  [Vol 6, No 4]
  4. ^ Riley, Robert B. (8 November 1993). "Fwd: Digital Chicken – Press Release". Retrieved 2007-11-20. 
  5. ^ Savetz, Kevin (16 May 1994). "FAQ: How can I send a fax from the Internet?". Retrieved 2007-11-20.