The following contains editorial content written by a retired Chief of Police and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.
WASHINGTON, DC- And here we thought the US Postal Service was only in existence to lose our mail.
In another indication that the federal surveillance state is much more widespread than first believed and that federalizing of law enforcement is coming, word has come out that the USPS has a program that spies on citizens’’ social media posts, something called iCop (Internet Covert Operations Program).
Yes, they’re not even trying to hide it. Maybe that’s why Democrats are trying to balloon the USPS budget.
According to Liberty Loft, iCop is indeed a program that spies on US citizens. The USPS is using the program to search for so-called “inflammatory posts.” Maybe Tucker Carlson is on to something.
According to Yahoo, the program is described as:
“The work involves having analysts trawl through social media sites to look for what the document describes as “inflammatory” postings and then sharing that information across government agencies.”
Yahoo said that among posts the postal service is trolling for include those about planned protests.
The document continued:
“Analysts with the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) Internet Covert Operations Program (iCOP) monitored significant activity regarding planned protests occurring internationally and domestically on March 20, 2012,” according to a March 16 government bulletin, marked as “law enforcement sensitive and which was circulated throughout Department of Homeland Security (DHS) fusion centers.
“Locations and times have been identified for these protests, which are being distributed online across multiple social media platforms, to include right-wing leaning Parler and Telegram accounts.”
According to the document a number of different groups were expected to gather around the globe on March 20 as part of a Worldwide Rally for Freedom and Democracy, scheduled to protest different scenarios from 5G to lockdown measures.
“Parler users have commented about their intent to use the rallies to engage in violence. Image 3 on the right is a screenshot from Parler indicating two users discussing the event as an opportunity to engage in a ‘fight’ and to ‘do serious damage’” read the bulletin.
“No intelligence is available to suggest the legitimacy of these threats,” it added.
Contained within the bulletin were screenshots of posts about the protests from social media sites such as Facebook, Parler, Telegram and others. Individuals named within include one alleged Proud Boy and several others who had identifying details included, however whose posts didn’t contain any threats.
“iCOP analysts are currently monitoring these social media channels for any potential threats stemming from the scheduled protests and will disseminate intelligence updates as needed,” the bulletin continued.
The government has been aggressive in monitoring social media posts among those they consider “right wing” however have ignored posts inciting violence on the left, including those from groups such as Antifa and Black Lives Matter.
The FBI and other investigative agencies have been aggressively pursuing anyone with any type of remote connection to January 6 while overlooking the far-left rioters that have been running roughshod over the country for over a year.
Yahoo said they reached out to civil liberties experts about the Post Office’s surveillance program, who expressed alarm by the revelation.
“It’s a mystery,” said University of Chicago law professor Geoffrey Stone, who was appointed by Obama to review the National Security Agency’s (NSA) bulk data collection in the wake of the Edward Snowden situation.
“I don’t understand why the government would go to the Postal Service for examining the internet for security issues.”
“This seems a little bizarre,” added Rachel Levinson-Waldman, deputy director of the Brennan Center for Justice’s liberty and national security program.
“Based on the very minimal information that’s available online, it appears that [iCOP] is meant to root out misuse of the postal system by online actors, which doesn’t seem to encompass what’s going on here. It’s not at all clear why their mandate would include monitoring of social media that’s unrelated to use of the postal system.”
That’s a great question.
Levinson-Waldman also questioned whether the USPS has the legal authority to monitor social media activity.
“If the individuals they’re monitoring are carrying out or planning criminal activity, that should be the purview of the FBI,” she said.
“If they’re simply engaging in lawfully protected speech, even if it’s odious or objectionable, then monitoring them on that basis raises serious constitutional concerns.”
Yahoo News said they reached out to the Postal Inspection Service, however they refused to answer specific questions, only providing a general statement:
“The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is the primary law enforcement, crime prevention, and security arm of the U.S. Postal Service,” the statement read. “As such, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service has federal law enforcement officers, Postal Inspectors, who enforce approximately 200 federal laws to achieve the agency’s mission: protect the U.S. Postal Service and its employees, infrastructure, and customers; enforce the laws that defend the nation’s mail system from illegal or dangerous use; and ensure public trust in the mail.”
“The Internet Covert Operations Program is a function within the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, which assesses threats to Postal Service employees and its infrastructure by monitoring publicly available open-source information.
“Additionally, the Inspection Service collaborates with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to proactively identify and assess potential threats to the Postal Service, its employees and customers, and its overall mail processing and transportation network. In order to preserve operational effectiveness, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service does not discuss its protocols, investigative methods or tools.”
In other words, “STFU and don’t worry about what we’re doing.”
Story expressed puzzlement over why the Postal Service would be involved with the program, which was only recently revealed but which has been going on since at least April. He questioned in particular why the USPS was involved with looking into the worst “insurrection” in world history on January 6.
“I just don’t think the Postal Service has the degree of sophistication that you would want if you were dealing with national security issues of this sort,” he said.
“That part is puzzling. There are so many other federal agencies that could do this, I don’t understand why the post office would be doing it. There is no need for the post office to do it. You’ve got FBI, Homeland Security, and so on, so I don’t know why the post office is doing this.”
But hey, with the new mantra of “domestic white extremism” is the “greatest threat to US national security,” how long before domestic white extremism is declared a public health emergency? As we’ve seen with COVID, public health emergencies apparently trump Americans’ Constitutional rights.
This should end well.
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Law Enforcement Today reported extensively on the U.S. Capitol siege, known by leftists as the “great American insurrection of 2021!” In case you missed it, below is one such report:
he following contains editorial content written by a retired Chief of Police and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.
WASHINGTON, DC- Can we all agree on one thing? That House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is an abject fraud?
The quickly-degenerating Pelosi, who appears to be suffering from the same type of cognitive decline as our “leader” Joe Biden, has been play acting since the Jan. 6 siege at the US Capitol, something she and her minions refer to as an “insurrection.”
If so, it was the most bogus insurrection in world history.
So what have we seen? Our Capitol building, the symbol of our republic surrounded by razor wire-topped fences, roadways blocked by Jersey barriers, armed National Guard troops standing sentry on the perimeter, with our nation’s capital more resembling the Beirut of the 1980’s and 90’s, or perhaps Mogadishu than the symbol of freedom and liberty.
This is of course by design. Pelosi is trying to script this to appear as though at any moment, more “insurrectionists” with Viking hats will attempt to lay siege to the US Capitol, likely looking to “murder” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, having received their marching orders from “cult leader” Donald Trump.
Pelosi, who spent all last summer along with her fellow Democrats referring to police as Nazis, storm troopers and Gestapo, suddenly, when it was politically expedient honored US Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick by having his ashes displayed in the Capitol rotunda, an honor typically reserved for dignitaries.
Suddenly, Democrats who for months couldn’t hide their disdain for police officers became their “biggest proponents.” Sadly for Democrats, most police officers saw through the charade.
Finally Pelosi staged yet another bogus impeachment of our 45th president, Donald J. Trump for “inciting” the above mentioned bogus “insurrection.”
Despite the fact that the only person killed was a Trump supporter ostensibly shot by a Capitol police officer, while at least three others besides Off. Sicknick died during the siege, Pelosi and her henchmen acted like the Trump supporters were conducting an operation like the Allies did on D-Day at Normandy.
Perhaps Pelosi’s biggest act of grandstanding was the proposal to establish a “9/11-style commission” to get to the bottom of what supposedly “really” happened on Jan. 6, a commission by the way which will be headed by a partisan anti-Trump former general. What could possibly go wrong?
However, Pelosi may have other issues to contend with, after several high-ranking Republicans said that Pelosi may have her own questions to answer about the Jan. 6 Capitol incident.
A letter sent to Pelosi by Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL), ranking member of the committee on House Administration, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, James Comer (R-KY), ranking member of the Oversight & Reform Committee, and Devin Nunes (R-CA), ranking member on the Intelligence Committee, called Pelosi out and made several requests of the Speaker.
Included among their questions were what she knew about reports of a planned attack on the Capitol; why security requests from former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund was turned down by both the House and Senate Sergeants at Arms a total of six times; why the Capitol security was so lax that police officers had in fact held doors open for some of those participating in the siege, as well as some having conversations with unarmed “insurrectionists” inside the Senate chamber.
Pelosi may have a lot to answer for. According to the Daily caller, Pelosi engaged in conversations with the House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving, sources familiar with details of Irving’s discussion with House Admin said.
According to that information, Pelosi had told Irving that National Guard troops were to remain off the Capitol grounds, wanting to protect “optics” surrounding the January 6 vote in Congress certifying the election of Biden.
Part of the decision making included the fact that deployment of federal resources for civil unrest had been slammed by Democrats and many members of Congress, and Pelosi (for once) didn’t want to appear to be a hypocrite.
The three sources confided in the Daily Caller under the condition of anonymity due to fear of discouraging other witnesses to divulge how the situation evolved on Jan. 6.
Those discussions raise questions as to exactly what role Pelosi’s office had in the obvious security failures that forded the resignations of Irving, as well as former Chief of Capitol Police Sund. The Daily Caller said that Pelosi’s chief of staff, Drew Hammill did not deny the allegations in a statement to that outlet.
“The Speaker’s Office has made it clear publicly and repeatedly that our office was not consulted or contacted concerning any request for the National Guard ahead of January 6th.
That has been confirmed by former Sergeant at Arms Irving in sworn testimony before Senate committees. The Speaker expects security professionals to make security decisions and to be briefed about those decisions,” Hammill said.
“It is our understanding that Committee on House Administration Ranking Republican Member Davis was briefed in advance of January 6th about security preparedness, but took no action to address any security concerns that he might have had,” Hammill continued.
Under protocol, the Sergeant at Arms is selected by the Speaker of the House and is directed by that office.
That person is one of three officials who are members of the Capitol Police Board, the entity that oversees the US Capitol Police. Irving’s testimony on Tuesday has raised additional questions as to the exact timeline of events.
Irving testified that he had first received a formal request to activate the National Guard after 2pm on Jan. 6. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) asked Irving if he had to submit the request “up the chain of command,” to which Irving replied “no,” in his testimony before a joint Senate Homeland Security and Rules Committee.”
A previous report published by the New York Times said that Pelosi’s office confirmed that the National Guard was approved at approximately 1:43pm. Sund made the initial request, he said at around 1:09 pm, CNN reported.
Finally, Axios reported that Irving testified he was notified about the matter after 2:00 pm.
That of course raises the question, as noted by one source familiar with the incident, “If you believe Irving’s timeline that he testified under oath to, how could he ask for permission from the Speaker 20 minutes before he got the request?”
“Also if you believe his sworn testimony that he never had to run the request up the chain, why did the Speaker’s office confirm he did just that?” the source continued.
Finally, yet another source familiar with the conversations told the Daily Caller more bluntly, “Irving is covering for Pelosi. There’s no doubt.”
Law Enforcement Today will update this story as more information becomes available.
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