Bush reportedly wants to boost mail monitoring


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Vernal45
May 22, 2005, 02:41 PM
Bush reportedly wants to boost mail monitoring
Postal Service concerned about proposal to increase FBI powers
Reuters
Updated: 1:11 a.m. ET May 21, 2005

NEW YORK - A Bush administration proposal would grant the FBI broad authority to track the mail of people in terrorism investigations, The New York Times reported in its Saturday editions.

Citing government officials who spoke Friday, the newspaper reported that the proposal, to be considered next week in a closed-door Senate Intelligence Committee meeting, would allow the FBI to direct postal officials to turn in names, addresses and other material on the outside of letters sent to or from people connected to foreign intelligence investigations.

But the Postal Service is raising privacy concerns about the plan to carry out such operations, called mail covers, the Times said.

According to a draft of the bill obtained by the Times, the plan would effectively eliminate postal inspectors’ discretion in deciding when mail covers are needed, giving sole authority to the FBI, if it decides that the material is “relevant to an authorized investigation to obtain foreign intelligence.”

The proposal would not allow the FBI to open mail or review its contents, however. According to the officials who spoke to the Times, that would require a search warrant.

The proposal is part of a larger package that strengthens the FBI’s authority to demand business records in intelligence gathering without judicial or grand jury approval, the Times said.

A postal official called the move a “major step.” Zoe Strickland, chief privacy officer for the Postal Service, told the Times that “from a privacy perspective, you want to make sure that the right balance is struck between protecting people’s mail and aiding law enforcement, and this legislation could impact that balance negatively.”

The Times quoted Strickland as saying that the new proposal ”removes discretion from the Postal Inspection Service as to how the mail covers are implemented,” and that she worries ”quite a bit about the balance being struck here, and we’re quite mystified as to how this got put in the legislation.”

Officials on the Intelligence Committee said the legislation was intended to make the FBI the sole arbiter of when a mail cover should be conducted, after complaints that undue interference from postal inspectors had slowed operations, the Times said.
Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters.

© 2005 MSNBC.com

URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7927805/

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Standing Wolf
May 22, 2005, 08:28 PM
I don't trust either the New York Times or MSNBC to get the facts straight.

That said™, I don't trust Bush with the nation's civil rights, either.

dustind
May 23, 2005, 05:46 AM
Duplicate sorry.

dustind
May 23, 2005, 05:50 AM
Does anyone keep track of all this stuff that the government does? I hear so much stuff that I wonder if there is a good place for information about this kind of thing. It could make for a good reference for political debates or creating awareness of government growth and privacy and rights violations.

rick_reno
May 23, 2005, 09:26 AM
Excellent idea. Thankfully our President is watching out for us. What would do we without him? I'm wondering why they're limiting this to only mail monitoring, given they've obviously identified the terrorists - they should assign an agent to author their mail as well. Each terrorist would get assigned an agent, like a modern man servant this agent could author mail, press trousers (assuming they wear trousers and not those skirts terrorists appear to like), make and serve breakfast and work the TV remote. This would eliminate that sticky element of requiring a search warrant to read the content and it would add valuable skills to the agents resume for when the "War on Terror" is over.

armoredman
May 23, 2005, 10:00 AM
I had a package shipped to me via priority mail, that took over ten days, and was diverted to Denver. The package was opened, reseales, and the plastic baggies inside torn open, and the contents scattered inside the box. What did anyone think they could do with bulk 9mm bullets, I'll never know...
I don't know if this was a Homeland Security thing, or random attempted mail theft, but the fact the box was resealed with all contents, and reshipped to me makes me think it wasn't mail theft...
Guess they don't like reloaders....

rick_reno
May 23, 2005, 10:40 AM
I had a package shipped to me via priority mail, that took over ten days, and was diverted to Denver. The package was opened, reseales, and the plastic baggies inside torn open, and the contents scattered inside the box. What did anyone think they could do with bulk 9mm bullets, I'll never know...

Have you tried to fly on a commercial airline recently?

I subscribe to Blockbuster movie rentals on-line, almost all our movies arrive a day or two after Blockbuster and they're opened.

armoredman
May 23, 2005, 10:47 AM
Nope, refuse. Last time I flew was in 94. If I have to go anywhere outside AZ borders, I'll drive a rental van.

rick_reno
May 23, 2005, 11:54 AM
Probably the package opened because of the weight, it's pretty common - and then some nice person at the PO taped it up again so you wouldn't lose all your bullets.

I'm sure they're watching my movies and it has nothing to do with homeland security.

dasmi
May 23, 2005, 11:57 AM
Guys, come on, we all know the Government is just looking out for our safety, right?
:barf:

R.H. Lee
May 23, 2005, 11:57 AM
Amendment IV

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

RevDisk
May 23, 2005, 02:55 PM
Now, now, RileyMc. Don't you know "making numerous references to US Constitution" is an indicator of being a terrorist, according to the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force? As is 'refusing to identify yourself', requesting authority for stop (ie, asking 'So why'd ya pull me over?').

Alex45ACP
May 23, 2005, 04:34 PM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v646/6655321/Stopasking.jpg

dasmi
May 23, 2005, 04:40 PM
Alex45acp, may I use that image on my blog?

Alex45ACP
May 23, 2005, 04:43 PM
Sure, I guess, I didn't make it, they're all over the internet. Here's another good one: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v646/6655321/propaganda_questions.jpg

Alex45ACP
May 23, 2005, 04:49 PM
Here's the site they came from: http://homepage.mac.com/leperous/PhotoAlbum1.html

thorn726
May 23, 2005, 06:25 PM
yes, i love how our oh so American prez loves to uphold our basic rights, is so good at keeping Big Brother out of my privacy.......

oh right, if you're not doing anything wrong, you should have no problem with the govt going thru all your stuff all the time

Alex45ACP
May 23, 2005, 07:23 PM
oh right, if you're not doing anything wrong, you should have no problem with the govt going thru all your stuff all the time

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v646/6655321/wiring.jpg

"Eef ju have nothing to hide, comrade, vhy don't ju let me take a look around? After all, ju are a good Soviet, yah?"

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