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Law enforcement is spying on thousands of Americans’ mail, records show

[Drew Harwell at the Washington Post]

"Postal inspectors say they fulfill [requests from law enforcement to share information from letters and packages] only when mail monitoring can help find a fugitive or investigate a crime. But a decade’s worth of records, provided exclusively to The Washington Post in response to a congressional probe, show Postal Service officials have received more than 60,000 requests from federal agents and police officers since 2015, and that they rarely say no."

I wish this was surprising. Something similar seems to have gone on in every trusted facet of American life: from cell phone providers to online library platforms to license plate readers on the roads. It's all part of an Overton window shift into pervasive surveillance that has been ongoing for decades.

Senator Ron Wyden is right to be blunt:

“These new statistics show that thousands of Americans are subjected to warrantless surveillance each year, and that the Postal Inspection Service rubber stamps practically all of the requests they receive.”

We shouldn't accept it. And yet, by and large, we do.


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