ABA Journal


Privacy Law

Post office photocopies envelopes of all mail sent in the US, says NY Times

Jul 3, 2013, 06:40 pm CDT


I feel like I can deal with the invasion of privacy, but could the feds stop wasting my tax dollars?

By dhc on 2013 07 03, 6:48 pm CDT

Actually, DHC, my understanding is that the USPS does not receive any tax funds. Which leads to the question of whether this program is something that is tax funded (apart from the normal operating of the USPS) or if this is part of the reason why the USPS is losing money like crazy.

By RecentGrad on 2013 07 03, 7:04 pm CDT

We live in The Survelliance State.

By Yankee on 2013 07 03, 7:27 pm CDT

George W Obama strikes again. Impeach him.

By Greg Ohio on 2013 07 04, 1:44 am CDT

1984 was just a little slow in getting here. But it's here now. Yikes. We need to elect sane people immediately.

By Helen Co on 2013 07 05, 7:27 pm CDT

Although I am on the left, I am starting to feel that nothing short of a vote for the libertarian party is going to work. It seems to me that high level democrats are pretty hard to distinguish from high level republicans. At least when it comes to privacy and the ridiculous war on everythingwedon'tlikeintheworldandterroranddrugs.

By Island Attorney on 2013 07 06, 11:37 pm CDT

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Terrorism just isn't the threat it's made out to be, and certainly not a big enough threat to trash our freedom the way we have.

Terrorism strikes the fear that it does is that one cannot see it coming and it's apparent randomness in whether one will be a victim of it. But we live everyday with other threats that have these same hallmarks and annually cause many times the death & damage of a "911".

In the last 12 years, the US has absorbed over one hundred 911's in terms of sudden & seemingly random deaths from automobile accidents. And the Nation's existence isn't threatened by those deaths. In the last 12 years, the US has absorbed almost fifty 911's in terms of sudden & unforeseen property damage from weather events. And the Nation's existence isn't threatened by those property damage & economic costs either.

Yet we've thrown out so much of our liberty over "terrorism", which is a threat that is miniscule compared to those mentioned above which we endure all of the time.

By Tyrone on 2013 07 07, 3:04 am CDT

If I am sent anthrax, wouldn't it be easier to examine the actual letter received rather than to look for a copy that was previously made. No wonder the post office keeps losing money. And the linked article is a little disappointing in that it keeps switching between targeted scanning of specific individuals and indescriminate scanning of everybody.

By Dr Phun on 2013 07 08, 2:47 pm CDT

No wonder the lines at the Post Office are so ridiculously long. All of the mailmen and mailwomen are behind closed doors "makin' copies."

By JuneBug on 2013 07 08, 3:09 pm CDT

I hope that they aren't making physical copies of all of this. The paper, toner, and storage costs would be outrageous! How are we limiting our budget? It doesn't sound like we are except for cutting some jobs.

By Cost? on 2013 07 08, 3:25 pm CDT

I still think one of the best tongue-in-cheek solutions to the anthrax scare was the suggestion on the internet that people bake their mail at temperatures over 451 degrees F. to kill the spores. People who didn't pay attention in 7th grade literature class, and who subsequently followed the advice, were shocked when their bills burst into flame.

By BMF on 2013 07 08, 6:05 pm CDT

What if one sent an envelope which read

“This envelope contains corn starch and neither anthrax nor ricin.” ?

By Docile Jim Brady – Columbus OH 43209 on 2013 07 09, 12:45 am CDT

So what! Facebook and all other social media websites have copies of ALL the information you post and send by email. If you use gmail, yahoo email or any other email service, copies of all your "private" emails are readily available. They know EVERY email address your sent email to and received email from. The USPS doesn't know the contents of your mail but the email services do.

And guess what? Those email services are PRIVATE companies, and not subject to the Constitutional restrictions placed on the US government!

We don't live in a "Survelliance State", we live under Survelliance Corporations.

By Technological Luddite on 2013 07 09, 3:28 pm CDT

Welcome to the party, Island Attorney @ 6!!!

We can only hope that millions more come to their senses before 2016. I don't think the country can survive a 5th term of George W. Bush.

By Just Some Bloke on 2013 07 09, 7:21 pm CDT

Well good- perhaps now the PO can track down my letter that it lost last year!

By pablo on 2013 07 09, 9:34 pm CDT

If you're feeling surveiled, find the camera and moon it. Repeat as necessary.

By AndytheLawyer on 2013 07 10, 4:24 pm CDT

Add a Comment

We welcome your comments, but please adhere to our comment policy.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.