(RepublicanPress.org) – The internet has become one of America’s final frontiers. Satellites and other tracking devices can easily trace a person’s movements. But, with VPN services and other online systems, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for “Big Brother” to continue watching everyone all the time. As it turns out, a rather unlikely government agency may be monitoring your activity on social media sites.
The US Postal Service operates a law enforcement section for obvious reasons. Since its creation, criminals have used its service to send drugs, bombs, and other forms of contraband. However, there’s a little-known surveillance program operated by postal officials known as the Internet Covert Operations Program, or iCOP for short.
iCOP Operations Revealed in Document
Yahoo News reported on April 21 that it obtained a copy of a March 16 internal postal system document detailing some of the operations of the iCOP program, which has remained secret up until this week.
The document was published by the United States Postal Inspection Service and carries the heading “Situational Awareness Bulletin.” It is labeled as “Law Enforcement Sensitive.”
The bulletin discusses iCOP’s monitoring efforts regarding online activities associated with “planned protests occurring internationally and domestically” later in the month. This is part of a World Wide Rally for Freedom and Democracy event pushing back against COVID-19 quarantines and restrictions.
Continuing, the document noted that the information was distributed across multiple social media platforms, and “online inflammatory material” was identified, leading analysts to believe the potential for violence existed at those protests. The bulletin also included screenshots of notices for the protests promoted on Facebook, Telegram, and other online portals.
iCOP Raises Concerns
As Yahoo News reported, there’s already a lot of debate about the government’s possible role in monitoring the online activities of Americans. Many believe standard First Amendment free speech rights should apply to social media platforms. Others claim the ends justify the means and promote the idea of government intrusion into individuals’ online activities.
Perhaps the government is attempting to cover all its bases in the wake of the recent attacks on democracy, like the January 6 riot at the nation’s capital.
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