It has been revealed that the U.S. Postal Service has been secretly monitoring the social media posts of Americans.
Yahoo News obtained documents that revealed the law enforcement wing of the U.S. Postal Service has been engaging in a massive surveille effort. The effort involved combing through social media sites and finding any “inflammatory” posts and reporting them to other government agencies.
From The Daily Caller:
“Analysts with the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) Internet Covert Operations Program (iCOP) monitored significant activity regarding planned protests occurring internationally and domestically on March 20, 2021,” the document, marked as “law enforcement sensitive,” says. “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 document includes several different screenshots of posts from Parler, Facebook, and other social media sites, and says that the surveillance program is monitoring these sites to identify any possible threats. (RELATED: Johnny Manziel Says Social Media Can Be A Dangerous Place)
USPIS did not respond to questions from Yahoo about the surveillance program but provided a general statement about its responsibilities and authority.
“The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is the primary law enforcement, crime prevention, and security arm of the U.S. Postal Service,” the statement said, according to Yahoo. “The Internet Covert Operations Program is a function within the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, which assesses threats to Postal Service employees and its infrastructure by monitoring publicly available open source information.”
Many have already come out to condemn this practice and legal concerns are being raised over the surveillance operation.
Senator Ted Cruz tweeted: “Finally, an answer to the question: “Is there any federal agency that’s not spying on Americans?””
Finally, an answer to the question: “Is there any federal agency that’s not spying on Americans?” https://t.co/gA6KoguD4N
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) April 21, 2021
Rachel Levison-Waldman, the deputy director of the Brennan Center of Justice’s Liberty, rose concerns over whether or not the whole operation was even legal. Levinson-Waldman pointed out that the monitoring of individuals who may be planning or carrying out criminal activity should be under the “purview of the FBI.”