Home / National News / USPS Audit Says Widespread Surveillance Conducted on Snail Mail, Not Just Email


(NEW YORK) — The United States Postal Service made public a report on Tuesday that determined that nearly 50,000 mail covers — investigative tools used to record data from the outside of a piece of mail — were processed as part of criminal and national security operations.

The USPS, furthermore, found that 21 percent of external requests for information were approved without written authorization and 13 percent were “not adequately justified or reasonable grounds were not transcribed accurately.” Equally noteworthy, 15 percent of the inspectors who worked with the mail covers did not have a required nondisclosure form on file.

That information comes from the USPS’ 2014 audit of the surveillance program by their inspector general.

The Office of the Inspector General for the USPS recommended improvements be made “to ensure responsible personnel process mail covers in a timely manner and conduct periodic reviews of the mail covers program.”

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