“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” is the US Postal Service motto. We must have missed the part where the talk about monitoring American’s social media accounts for “inflammatory” posts. (Pictured Above: The Scariest Logo of 2021)
The US Postal Service Does What?!?
Multiple outlets have reported this week that the United States Postal Inspection Service an “elite police force” that “enforces over 200 federal statutes related to crimes that involve the postal system, its employees, and its customers,” has been engaging in a sophisticated surveillance effort known as iCOP (Internet Covert Operations Program) without disclosure to the public.
It’s not a totally new trick for the USPIS to go after prominent right-leaning figures either, the arrested Steve Bannon for alleged fraud in August 2020. The Postal Inspection Service is actually the oldest continuously operating federal law enforcement agency in America, founded in 1775 when the first “surveyor” was appointed by Benjamin Franklin, the first Postmaster General. That’s right the US Postal Inspection Service PREDATES the United States of America. In 1801 “surveyors” became “special agents” in the Office of Instructions and Mail Depredations. They became “inspectors” in 1880.
YahooNews’ Jana Winter who broke the story wrote,
“Analysts with the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) Internet Covert Operations Program (iCOP) monitored significant activity regarding planned protests occurring internationally and domestically on March 20, 2021,”
According to a March 16th government bulletin obtained by Yahoo which was marked as “law enforcement sensitive” and distributed through the Department of Homeland Security’s “fusion centers”. The bulletin continued,
“Locations and times have been identified for these protests, which are being distributed online across multiple social media platforms, to include right-wing leaning Parler and Telegram accounts.”
“iCOP analysts are currently monitoring these social media channels for any potential threats stemming from the scheduled protests and will disseminate intelligence updates as needed,” the bulletin says.
In the US Postal Inspection Service’s 2019 Annual Report, they even publicly described iCOP with radically broad ranging authority. This agency is even tasked with investigating and policing abuses of crytpocurrencies! The report said in part,
“The Internet Covert Operations Program (iCOP) is one of seven functional groups within the Inspection Service Cybercrime program. The iCOP program protects the Postal Service and the public by facilitating the identification, disruption, and dismantling of individuals and organizations that use the mail or USPS online tools to facilitate black market Internet trade or other illegal activities. Analysts in iCOP utilize USPS systems and tools to provide open source intelligence and cryptocurrency blockchain analysis in support of all Inspection Service investigations.
In Fiscal Year 2019, the iCOP team produced a total of 209 Intelligence Reports to the field in support of investigations involving narcotics, mail theft, revenue fraud, homicide, dangerous mail, and more. In all, analysts identified nine (9) previously unknown individuals, and their reports resulted in the arrest of 10 individuals. The iCOP team also completed 74 cryptocurrency analysis products resulting in the seizure of over $300,000 in cryptocurrency.”
USPS Answered The Reports, YOU WON’T BELIEVE IT
The US Postal Inspection service refused to answer any specific questions about the iCOP program and their practices, instead they sent a very milquetoast reply to Yahoo, but there is something troubling buried in the PR-Newspeak. Check this out:
“The Internet Covert Operations Program is a function within the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, which assesses threats to Postal Service employees and its infrastructure by monitoring publicly available open source information,” the statement said.
“Additionally, the Inspection Service collaborates with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to proactively identify and assess potential threats to the Postal Service, its employees and customers, and its overall mail processing and transportation network. In order to preserve operational effectiveness, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service does not discuss its protocols, investigative methods, or tools.”
Did you catch that? The USPIS according to this statement “collaborates with enforcement agencies to proactively identify and assess potential threats to the Postal Service, its employees AND CUSTOMERS.” So who are USPS’ customers?
EVERYBODY, literally everybody… on the planet.
It’s right on their website: “Our Jurisdiction is Worldwide.”
Congressional Republicans Are Asking Questions
Fox News reported that thirty House Republicans rapidly sent a letter to Postmaster Louis DeJoy harhsly questioning why the USPS was tracking and collecting social media data and invading the privacy of everyday Americans.
“The type of amorphous, broad mandate under which iCOP is allegedly operating is particularly troubling because it is unclear why the USPS, of all government agencies and the only one devoted to the delivery of Americans’ mail, is taking on the role of intelligence collection,” the letter read. “The type of general review of social media alleged in the reporting does not indicate that the posts reviewed by iCOP are related to the protection and security of USPS, it’s postal routes, it’s employees, or the mail generally.”
It’s like something out of a bad spy novel isn’t it? Whats the one agency with them most wide ranging jurisdiction? CIA? NSA? Nope, they’re limited by law to operate mostly on foreign soil. FBI? Homeland Security? Nope, they’re limited to domestic law enforcement. All of them are too high profile as well. US Postal Inspection Service? Everywhere the mail goes. And nobody is watching for the Postman.
Here’s something else to think about: Under the Biden-Harris regime’s HR1 Nation-wide mail-in-voting mandate, and even in the 2020 election. Isn’t it interesting that the US Postal Service now has jurisdiction, in-part, over our elections too?
But hey, We’re the crazy right-wing conspiracy theorists… Right?