Kevin Kosar on Postal Service Mail-Tracking


Public Domain

Last week, the New York Times reported there were nearly 50,000 incidents of mail surveillance in 2013. Under the "mail cover" program, which has been around for roughly a century, federal, state and even local law enforcement officials can trace a target's mail using data collected from the outside of an envelope or a parcel, including sender and recipient, addresses, and where the mail entered the postal system. Such tracking has reportedly been conducted without proper authorization and for troubling purposes. What, asks the R Street Institute's Kevon Kosar, do public officials plan to do about this invasion of our privacy?