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Report: U.S. Postal Service Surveillance Program Tracks Every Piece of Mail

As the outcry over National Security Agency spying continues, the U.S. Postal Service is now under scrutiny for a surveillance program of its own. The New York Times has revealed the postal service has been carrying out a Mail Isolation Control and Tracking program, which photographs every piece of mail in its system. Around 160 billion envelopes, packages, and postcards were documented last year. The contents are never read without a warrant, but they allow investigators to learn key information including "names, addresses, return addresses and postmark locations." The information was reportedly used to nab the suspect recently accused of mailing ricin-laced letters to President Obama and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Leslie James Pickering, a former activist with the Earth Liberation Front who now owns a small bookstore in Buffalo, recently learned his mail was being monitored after a surveillance order was accidentally delivered to his door.

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