Thursday, July 04, 2013

mail isolation control and tracking program...,


NYTimes | Leslie James Pickering noticed something odd in his mail last September: a handwritten card, apparently delivered by mistake, with instructions for postal workers to pay special attention to the letters and packages sent to his home. 

“Show all mail to supv” — supervisor — “for copying prior to going out on the street,” read the card. It included Mr. Pickering’s name, address and the type of mail that needed to be monitored. The word “confidential” was highlighted in green. 

“It was a bit of a shock to see it,” said Mr. Pickering, who with his wife owns a small bookstore in Buffalo. More than a decade ago, he was a spokesman for the Earth Liberation Front, a radical environmental group labeled eco-terrorists by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Postal officials subsequently confirmed they were indeed tracking Mr. Pickering’s mail but told him nothing else. 

As the world focuses on the high-tech spying of the National Security Agency, the misplaced card offers a rare glimpse inside the seemingly low-tech but prevalent snooping of the United States Postal Service.
Mr. Pickering was targeted by a longtime surveillance system called mail covers, a forerunner of a vastly more expansive effort, the Mail Isolation Control and Tracking program, in which 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. 

Together, the two programs show that postal mail is subject to the same kind of scrutiny that the National Security Agency has given to telephone calls and e-mail. Fist tap Arnach.

4 comments:

Ed Dunn said...

LOL, this is definitely the kind of intelligence gathering sophistication one can expect from US Postal workers...

Ed Dunn said...

Wait a minute, one of my relatives is a US Postal worker...wonder if I can remove my last name from this posting...

CNu said...

lol, everybody hustling hard to be relevant in their service to the homeland...,

(p.s., I remember a lecture given by the late Steve Cokely in my hometown - yeah, the bro. hustled so hard he even came to the Wichititty - in which he commented "respect the post office - there is no other force or bureaucracy in the world that touches everybody's house 6 out of every 7 days of the year")

joe public said...

Previously the govt was afraid the public would discover the over reaching of its power. Now, what terrifies me is that the public doesn't care. Those who sacrifice freedom for safety deserve neither.

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