Surveillance requests for "postal metadata" climbed 600% in recent years, often undertaken with badly formed or expired warrants.
An Office of Inspector General audit found that the postal service was incredibly sloppy in its handling of the surveillance orders, and USPS managers tried to suppress publication of the report in order to sustain public confidence in the mail.
According to the new audit, about 85 percent of mail covers are requested by USPS’s own law enforcement division, the Postal Inspection Service. Over 6,000 per year are sought by outside criminal law enforcement agencies, including those at the federal, state and local level. The exact frequency with which specific agencies use the technique was deleted from the public version of the report.
“Mail may seem pretty old-fashioned to people, but the privacy of mail has a very long history in terms of civil liberties,” said Edgar, who worked for the American Civil Liberties Union before joining the Office of Director of National Intelligence during President George W. Bush’s administration. “The first Congress in 1792 passed a law making it a crime to open mail without a warrant.”
Snail mail snooping safeguards not followed [Josh Gerstein/Politico]
(via The Intercept)
The Washington Post reports: The Treasury Department announced Wednesday that it will loan $700 million to a trucking firm that ships military equipment, in exchange for having U.S. taxpayers acquire an almost 30 percent stake in the company. Under the unusual arrangement, the Treasury Department will provide the emergency loan to YRC Worldwide, while taking […]
Bad legal news for Orange President Kleptocrat today. He’s gonna be in a mood.
Asked about the Justice Department’s intent to drop all criminal charges against impeached President Trump’s first national security advisor, Mike Flynn, Trump’s Attorney General Bill Barr says nothing matters, and “history is written by the winners.”
Building blocks are among a child’s first, and arguably, most important, toys. Once they start stacking one tentatively on top of another, the blocks not only spark waves of creativity, but actual real-world understanding of scientific principles like engineering and physics. It wouldn’t even be a stretch to call blocks on of the first true […]
Time management and self-motivation, the ability to stay on task and achieve in the office or when you’re working with home, is the true test of any person’s professional mettle. While that’s easier said than done, those skills can be taught and developed as you’ll find in The 2020 Work From Anywhere Hacker Bundle. The […]
It’s easy to be instantly dismissive about most Bluetooth speakers, especially small travel-sized units. Over the past few years, makers of every shape, size, and variety have started pounding out Bluetooth speakers, many barely able to sound much better than your smartphone speaker, let alone provide the bass and volume heft of legitimate portable speakers […]