The United States Postal Service may not be a likely candidate if asked to name government agencies that you think monitor social media posts, but that’s apparently exactly what it is doing. . According to Yahoo News, the law enforcement arm of the Postal Service – the United States Postal Inspection Service, or USPIS – has a monitoring program called the Internet Covert Operations Program (iCOP) in place. Analysts on the team reportedly scoured social media websites for “inflammatory” messages and then distributed the information they collected to other agencies through Homeland Security.
Yahoo News got his hands on a document outlining the type of content iCOP analysts found around protests planned for the Global Rally for Freedom and Democracy in March. The newsletter contained posts collected from Facebook, Parler, Telegram and other social media sites. He noted that Parler users, in particular, have commented on their intention to use the rallies to engage in violence, with some posters saying this is their opportunity to “do serious damage.”
ICOP analysts concluded that there was “no information available to suggest the legitimacy of these threats.” However, the notice said they would continue to monitor social media and identify posts dealing with planned attacks and violent actions.
The fact that government agencies are monitoring the Talk and Facebook groups is no surprise, given the role they played in giving people a platform to plan the Capitol Riot in January. Civil liberties experts have expressed surprise, however, that the Postal Service is monitoring online posts, while the Postal Service is not tied to social media. Asked by Yahoo News, USPIS explained that its actions are aimed at protecting the postal service, its infrastructure, its employees and its customers. He said in a statement:
“The United States Postal Inspection Service is the primary law enforcement, crime prevention and security agency of the United States Postal Service. As such, the United States Postal Inspection Service has federal law enforcement officers, postal inspectors, who enforce approximately 200 federal laws to achieve the agency’s mission: to protect the US Postal Service and its employees, infrastructure and customers; enforce laws that protect the country’s mail system from illegal or dangerous use; and ensure public confidence in the mail.
The Internet Covert Operations Program is a feature of the US Postal Inspection Service, which assesses threats to postal service employees and its infrastructure by monitoring publicly available open source information.
In addition, the Inspectorate works with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to proactively identify and assess potential threats to the Postal Service, its employees and customers, as well as its global processing network. and mail transport. In order to maintain operational efficiency, the US Postal Inspection Service does not discuss its protocols, investigative methods, or tools. “
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through any of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.