Federal officials have been tracking all mail sent through the United States Postal Service for well over a decade, but have been monitoring select pieces of mail for over a century.
Using a pair of systems that snap images of envelopes and catalogue them into batches, the federal government tracks all mail sent in the United States, and has been able track down multiple suspected terrorists, according to media reports. Though the automated systems are only about a decade old, the mail covers monitoring program dates back almost 100 years.
The system tracks names, addresses, return addresses and postmark locations, an expert told the New York Times, explaining that it effectively maps out an individual's network of contacts for the federal government.
The postal service’s Automated Facer Canceller System (AFCS) and the Mail Isolation Control and Tracking program gained minor notoriety a few weeks ago after it was used to catch Shannon Richardson after she was accused of mailing ricin-laced letters to US President Barack Obama, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and a Bloomberg-sponsored gun control lobby.
AFCS and MICT are back in the news after a Buffalo man mistakenly received a post card meant for internal use by the USPS detailing that all mail sent to him is to be tracked, according to the paper.
‘Show all mail to supv’ — supervisor — ‘for copying prior to going out on the street,’ the paper reported the card read, adding that it included ‘Pickering’s name, address and the type of mail that needed to be monitored. The word ‘confidential’ was highlighted in green.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2356571/US-Postal-Service-tracking-mail-sent-country--just-like-NSAs-PRISM-spying.html#ixzz2fNy7AO2R
thank you Dirkster