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 http://goo.gl/sX16wF.