A new report indicates the United States Postal Service (USPS) ran a ‘covert operations program’ that monitored Americans’ social media activity following the January 6 Capitol riot.
Politico revealed in a striking column that the United States Postal Inspection Service’s Internet Covert Operations Program – or iCOP – sprang into action just five days after the events at the Capitol.
That the Postal Service has such a program is itself undoubtedly news to many.
Among their activities were sending bulletins to law enforcement agencies throughout the country “on how to view social media posts that had been deleted” and providing descriptions of their surveillance of posts on a ‘fringe’ social media network.
“Few Americans are aware that the same organization that delivers their mail also runs a robust surveillance operation rooted in an agency that dates back to the 18th century,” Politico writes.
They add that iCOP’s involvement in the days after January 6 “raises questions about how broad the mandate of the Postal Service’s policing arm has grown from its stated mission of keeping mail deliverers safe.”
US Postal Service Monitoring Americans’ Social Media
The question that immediately arises from this report is – What does the social media activity of the American people have to do with the United States Postal Service?
Yahoo first uncovered the sketchy program back in April, reporting that the USPS “has been quietly running a program that tracks and collects Americans’ social media posts, including those about planned protests.”
Yahoo reported that the program was operating in March, but the Politico report reveals that the surveillance was up and running as early as January 11.
Are they doing this for Black Lives Matter rallies? Are they doing these for Antifa protests? Why did USPS swing into action days after the January 6 protest and not say, over the previous summer when cities were being looted and burned to the ground?
The original report, based on a document obtained by Yahoo, shows the USPS had analysts scour social media for “inflammatory” postings and then sharing that information across government agencies.
What constitutes an inflammatory posting fresh off the heels of the Capitol protest? Anything patriotic or pro-Trump?
Spying On Americans
Democrats spent the entire election season demanding that the United States Postal Service be saved from becoming the dying enterprise that it is, noting it was pivotal for democracy during the pandemic.
It’s no surprise at all that the federal government, shifting toward a new administration, would immediately weaponize the USPS against the American people.
President Biden is, after all, the man who liked to brag that he practically wrote the Patriot Act.
The ACLU describes the Patriot Act as “the first of many changes to surveillance laws that made it easier for the government to spy on ordinary Americans.”