NYT- Postal Service Is Watching, Too: Outside of All Mail Is Recorded

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on July 4, 2013

Postal Service Is Watching, Too: Outside of All Mail Is Recorded,” by Ron Nixon: “Under “the Mail Isolation Control and Tracking program…Postal Service computers photograph the exterior of every piece of paper mail that is processed in the United States – about 160 billion pieces last year. It is not known how long the government saves the images…The Mail Isolation Control and Tracking program was created after the anthrax attacks in late 2001 that killed five people, including two postal workers. Highly secret, it seeped into public view last month when the F.B.I. cited it in its investigation of ricin-laced letters sent to President Obama and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. It enables the Postal Service to retrace the path of mail at the request of law enforcement…Law enforcement officials need warrants to open the mail…In the past, mail covers were used when you had a reason to suspect someone of a crime,” said Mark D. Rasch, who started a computer crimes unit in the fraud section of the criminal division of the Justice Department and worked on several fraud cases using mail covers. “Now it seems to be, ‘Let’s record everyone’s mail so in the future we might go back and see who you were communicating with.’ Essentially you’ve added mail covers on millions of Americans.”

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