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Defund iCOP: Republican lawmakers call for ending controversial USPS surveillance program

Republican lawmakers said Friday they are pushing to end the U.S. Postal Service’s surveillance of Americans via its internet covert operations program (iCOP).

The program allegedly monitored Americans via their social media posts and lawmakers have pressed the Postal Service for answers about their conduct. Ten Republican representatives are pushing to defund iCOP via the “USPIS Surveillance Protection Act,” following a private briefing that Chief Postal Inspector Gary R. Barksdale held with lawmakers earlier this week. 

“The @USPS has NO business spying on Americans,” said Rep. Paul Gosar, Arizona Republican, on Twitter. “Proud to co-sponsor this important legislation. Thank you to my colleague from Florida @RepMattgaetz for leading this effort.”

Details of the Postal Service’s monitoring Americans’ social media emerged last week via an iCOP bulletin published by Yahoo! News. Earlier this week, Mr. Barksdale briefed lawmakers about the program in private and participating lawmakers told The Washington Times that they came away without answers to basic questions about the Postal Service’s actions.