The Postal Service is taking pictures of your mail
The agency says it's to ensure effective delivery, but the cash-strapped carrier hangs onto them for a month and doles them out to security agencies on request.
Guess again. Even though the mail carrying agency is scarcely solvent, it somehow has the time and resources to take pictures of every piece of mail processed in the United States and hold onto it for a month.
Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe told The Associated Press said the photos of the exterior of mail pieces are used primarily for the sorting process, but they are available for law enforcement whenever agencies ask for them.
So, no, there's no expectation of privacy through the mail, either. You can thank the anthrax attacks in 2001 for this little program, which was just used to track ricin-laced letters sent to President Barack Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Donohoe says there's no single database of the images, which are kept on nearly 200 machines at processing facilities across the country. Each machine retains only the images of the mail it processes. The images are kept between a week and 30 days because, as Donohoe claims, it may be necessary to ensure delivery accuracy, for forwarding mail or making sure that the proper postage was paid.
There's a guy setting up an apartment in Moscow right now who may be just a bit loathe to believe Donohoe's story, mostly because the USPS is tracking the snail-mail equivalent of the metadata Prism is scanning and that even corporations such as Chevron (CVX) want a look at.
According to Donohoe, mail processing machines take photographs so software can read the images to create a barcode that is stamped on the mail to show where and when it was processed, and where it will be delivered. Mail from the same mailbox is relegated to the same batch, which helps investigators track where a particular item was mailed from to possibly identify the sender.
So how do you communicate without the government listening in on every word? Have conversations face-to-face, in public, with no electronic devices nearby -- preferably in a non-extradition country.
Good job electorate.
This is a good reason not to bother with the Post Awful. Stop mailing anything. Do it online, that way the government will not have spend a dime on your mail, they can invade your privacy without all that work. It is time to begin encrypting all emails.
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