Privacy Blog

"Friends don’t let friends get spied on.' – Richard Stallman, President of the Free Software Foundation and longtime advocate of privacy in technology.

Does The Postal Service Protect Your Privacy? No!

Everyone worries about online privacy and data thieves and then ignores the bigger potential losses of privacy. Did you know that the Postal Service uses a mail imaging program to photograph the exterior of every piece of paper mail sent in the United States?

According to a “surveillance audit” done by the postal inspector general, which the sleuths at The New York Times uncovered, nearly 50,000 requests from law-enforcement officials for mail monitoring were approved last year. Often, no reason was given. Sometimes there wasn’t even a written request.

The authorities say they find gold mines of information by reading addresses and such, learning about financial irregularities, pornography and fraud, among other criminal acts. Apparently, they are not supposed to hold envelopes up to the light or steam them open without a warrant. We must have faith they wouldn’t do that.

You can read more in an article by Ann McFeattters in the Seattle Times at

Categories: Postal Privacy

3 replies

  1. the postal service has us all in a database. I am a retired attorney. I have had postal inspectors testify that a package picked out of the mail stream was suspicious because So and So was not supposed to live at that address per their database. The police then showed up at that residence without a search warrant and demanded to be let in to question the resident (who was in the database under her own name). According to this particular inspector, the database is updated once a month. The taking of the package out of the mail stream was violative of the law, but as you all should know, the only rights you have are those recognized by a court. Americans seem oblivious to the fact that they are tracked in their cars, while shopping, while using cell phones, on FACEBOOK etc. They might care if they knew anything about history. You cannot challenge a government when that government knows your every move and can predict it with great accuracy. Forget owning a gun…the gun cannot protect you against an all knowing Big Brother.


  2. The shorten URL of reference article is not working, Hey Eastman can you please check?


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