Feds Want to Conscript FedEx to Block Your Cheap Medicine

FedExDylan AsheWhy should law enforcement agencies do their own footwork when they can simply threaten others into doing it for them? Specifically, why should the United States government trouble itself with enforcing its silly rules against you and I purchasing our medicine over the Internet when it can hold package delivery services liable for delivering our orders from point A to point B. It's deputization, the hard way, and cargo delivery giant FedEx is on the receiving end as Uncle Sam looks to conscript assistance for its prohibition efforts.

According to a press release from the United States Attorney's Office from the Northern District of California, FedEx is delivering drugs. That's probably not a shocker, considering the number of sealed packages the company moves. But just how nefarious is this drug business?

beginning in approximately 1998, Internet pharmacies began offering consumers prescription drugs, including controlled substances, based on the provision of information over the Internet. While some Internet pharmacies were managed by well-known pharmacy chains that required valid prescriptions and visits to the patient’s personal physician, others failed to require a prescription before filling orders for controlled substances and prescription drugs. Rather, these Internet pharmacies filled orders based solely on the completion of an online questionnaire, without a physical examination, diagnosis, or face-to-face meeting with a physician. Such practices violated federal and state laws governing the distribution of prescription drugs and controlled substances.

Oh noes! Somebody is selling Uncle Bob discount little blue pills! For shame. And he's willingly buying them! Shocker.

So...Why the fuck should FedEx care?

As it turns out, the feds say that "as early as 2004, DEA, FDA and members of Congress" told the delivery company that willing buyers and sellers were engaging in transactions that make politicians very, very sad. FedEx apparently established internal systems for tracking online pharmacies, but shipments still got through. This makes the feds even sadder, and they insist FedEx has been "conspiring" to let the packages through.

FedEx says this is all bullshit. The company insists that, in response to the government's crusade to keep Uncle Bob from buying his little blue pills at a discount, it's asked the feds for a list of suppliers it shouldn't service. The feds haven't gone beyond the bitching phase to offer anything helpful.

We have repeatedly requested that the government provide us a list of online pharmacies engaging in illegal activity.  Whenever DEA provides us a list of pharmacies engaging in illegal activity, we will turn off shipping for those companies immediately. So far the government has declined to provide such a list.

So, what do the feds want FedEx to do? The indictment isn't specific, but FedEx hints that the government wants the company to paw through everything it ships and block the stuff that officials don't think people should be allowed to send from place to place.

FedEx transports more than 10 million packages a day.  The privacy of our customers is essential to the core of our business.  This privacy is now at risk, based on the charges by the Department of Justice related to the transportation of prescription medications.

We want to be clear what’s at stake here:  the government is suggesting that FedEx assume criminal responsibility for the legality of the contents of the millions of packages that we pick up and deliver every day.  We are a transportation company – we are not law enforcement.  We have no interest in violating the privacy of our customers. We continue to stand ready and willing to support and assist law enforcement.  We cannot, however, do the job of law enforcement ourselves.

Oh, awesome. Instead of government-conducted NSA-style surveillance of our personal activities, we'll get coerced surveillance by a private company. It's like contracting out an astoundingly creepy law-enforcement task, but without the actual contract. Or any compensation.

It'll probably have interesting consequences for delivery speed, too.

This is modern, efficient government for you: Arm-twisting private enterprise into engaging in intrusions that nobody should be committing, presumably at a cost-savings to the taxpayers being intruded upon.

For the record, I don't give a damn if FedEx is transporting containers of heroin, so long as the shipper and recipient are happy with the price and speed of delivery.

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  • Sevo||

    Why, it's almost like Fed Ex is obeying the laws and getting shit for it! Who knows? Maybe they don't pay every cent in taxes they could and therefore are also obeying the tax laws!

  • Jordan||

    This can't be possible. I'm told that government is filled with altruistic supermen who just want everyone to have free healthcare and puppies.

  • Agammamon||

    That's exactly why this is possible. All these guys are doing this for *your* benefit. I don't see how anyone could oppose someone doing something for the greater good.

  • Brandon||

    The greater good!

  • ||

    "For the record, I don't give a damn if FedEx is transporting containers of heroin, so long as the shipper and recipient are happy with the price and speed of delivery."

    Amen

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    IIRC, UPS is union and FedEx is non-union.
    Hmmm......
    The rule of law at work again in the Obama administration.

  • ||

    That thought crossed my mind as well. I'm sure you recall the same issue came up a few years back when they were pushing to re-regulate FedEx under the NLRA instead of the RLA. Since FedEx ships most of its cargo by this new fangled thing called the aeroplane instead of by truck as the unions would like, they are subject to different labor regs under the RLA instead of the NLRA and therefore aren't unionized.

  • ||

    This is modern, efficient government for you: Arm-twisting private enterprise into engaging in intrusions that nobody should be committing, presumably at a cost-savings to the taxpayers being intruded upon

    No, it's not. It's just another form of theft and taxation. The government already steals vast, incomprehensible amounts of money and that's still not enough for them to do what they want. Deputizing private companies--against their will--is just another way for them to take even more money to accomplish their ultimate desire for CONTROL.

    It also reeks of fascism. Ostensibly "private" industry suborned to state control.

  • np||

    That's why I'm always skeptical of so-called "voluntary" restrictions and "self-regulation" private companies make, when it's almost always in order to keep politicians and law enforcement off there backs.

    Worse yet, there's an incentive for private companies now affected to lobby for regulation in order to remove their liability. That is, they want a laundry list of procedures in law--a legal checklist--they can follow (which would undoubtedly be an additional legal and business burden to anyone else) so they can do that and know they're compliant.

  • Swiss Servator, Alles Klar||

    Welcome to the world that Tony and Shriek want us to live in...

  • kinnath||

    Too bad paparazzi can't make the big bucks following federales around and selling photos of them to the news. Everyone of these fuckers needs to be busted every time they stick their dick where it doesn't belong.

  • The Last American Hero||

    Maybe in The Transporter V, Jason Statham can be the CEO of FedEx.

  • Pope Jimbo||

    If I were FedEx, I'd get me a list of DEA agents and make sure to open every single package addressed to any of them. I'd also "accidentally" post contents of those packages to the internet.

    After all they have nothing to hide ....

  • Brandon||

    Yeah, but who would want to be the one to sort and post 4,000 pictures of dildos?

  • Andrew S.||

    I have to say I really like FedEx's response here. I figured it'd be "We're sorry, government masters, we'll be good, here's some money"

  • Agammamon||

    We cannot, however, do the job of law enforcement ourselves.

    See FedEx, you simply *don't* understand. Law enforcement can't do its job, because of these pesky little things called warrants, but you *can* paw through your customer's shipments and report illegal stuff to the police and it'll hold up in court.

    I know its inconvenient and expensive to do this, but law enforcement is the most important job and we need the resources to do this job. Since we can't get carte blanche to search on a whim, we're going for the next best thing - having *you* do it.

  • muskegonlibertarian||

    The US health care monopoly uses the federal government (which it now effectively "owns") to extract as much money from the American people as is possible. To do this, people are not allowed to take care of their own health or make decisions as to what medicines they may use because that would reduce the incomes of the organized professions along with the drug companies who earn the great majority of their profits from the American people.

  • FrankInFL||

    Oh, please do this, FedEx! The uproar will KILL the DEA.

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