A well-known news agency has reported that the United States Postal Service (USPS) has been spying on American people on social media, watching everything they post.
The agency reported that the United States Postal Inspection Service has been quietly running a program that tracks and collects Americans’ social media posts, including those about planned protests. The information gleaned by analysts concerning “inflammatory” postings is then shared by government agencies.
The information about the covert surveillance effort known as Internet Covert Operations Program was in a document obtained by the news agency.
The March 16 government bulletin, marked as “law enforcement sensitive” and distributed through the Department of Homeland Security’s fusion centres said, “Analysts with the United States Postal Inspection Service Internet Covert Operations Program monitored significant activity regarding planned protests occurring internationally and domestically on March 20, 2021. Locations and times have been identified for these protests, which are being distributed online across multiple social media platforms, to include right-wing leaning Parler and Telegram accounts.” The USPIS publication includes screenshots of posts about the protests from many social media platforms including, Facebook, Parler, Telegram, and others. According to the agency who has seen the document, some individuals are identified by name, but their posts did not appear to contain any threat. One civil liberties expert expressed his bewilderment about the USPS surveillance effort. Rachel Levinson-Waldman, deputy director of the Brennan Centre for Justice’s liberty and national security program, wondered why the Postal Service would go into social media surveillance, which has nothing to do with delivering the mail. This is kind of authoritarianism Snowden warned American about.
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