Tuesday, April 27, 2021

US Postal Service is Secretly Keeping Tabs on Americans' Social Media Posts as Part of 'covert operations program'; Republican lawmakers want Postal Service to explain its alleged spying on Americans

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US Postal Service is secretly keeping tabs on Americans' social media posts as part of 'covert operations program':
Sharing data with Homeland Security
The United States Postal Service has been secretly collecting data on Americans' social media posts, Yahoo News revealed Wednesday.
According to a March 16 government bulletin obtained by the outlet, the USPS' law enforcement arm is tracking citizens' social media activity to gather data on a host of topics, including "inflammatory" postings and planned protests, that it shares across multiple federal agencies as part of an effort called the Internet Covert Operations Program, or iCOP.
Yahoo News said the document, which was marked "law enforcement sensitive," specifically mentioned an examination of alleged planned activity for March 20 and was distributed through Homeland Security's fusion centers.
"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 bulletin said. "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." --->READ MORE HERE
Jim Watson/Pool via AP
Republican lawmakers want Postal Service to explain its alleged spying on Americans:
Republican lawmakers are demanding that the U.S. Postal Service explain its actions to allegedly spy on Americans via monitoring their social media posts.
Thirty-two House Republicans wrote to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to request a briefing by next Wednesday on the “Internet Covert Operations Program (iCOP).”
“The type of amorphous broad mandate under which iCOP is allegedly operating is particularly troubling because it is unclear why the USPS, of all government agencies and the only one devoted to the delivery of Americans’ mail, is taking on the role of intelligence collection,” the lawmakers wrote.
The lawmakers from the House Committees on Oversight and Reform and the Judiciary added, “The United States is not lacking in its availability of intelligence agencies, and it should be left to those professionals to engage in this sort of behavior, if it is even necessary at all.” --->READ MORE HERE

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