(NEW YORK POST) WASHINGTON — In a rare public accounting of its mass surveillance program, the U.S. Postal Service reported that it approved nearly 50,000 requests last year from law-enforcement agencies and its own internal inspection unit to secretly monitor the mail of ordinary Americans for use in criminal and national-security investigations.
The number of requests, contained in a little-noticed 2014 audit of the surveillance program by the Postal Service’s inspector general, shows that the surveillance program is more extensive than previously disclosed and that oversight protecting Americans from potential abuses is lax.
The audit, along with interviews and documents obtained by The New York Times under the Freedom of Information Act, offers one of the first detailed looks at the scope of the program, which has played an important role in the nation’s vast surveillance effort since the terrorist attack of Sept. 11, 2001.
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