Friday, January 13, 2006

Customs admits what we already know - They're opening international mail

According to an article by CNN, U.S Customs officials have admitted to opening mail that they deem to be from a potential "terrorist" leaving the door open to basically do whatever they want (as usual).

Most of us already knew this anyway, international mail has never been safe. According to the law, the USPS can open up any international mail under any circumstances without a warrant. Only domestic first class, Priority Mail and Express mail requires a warrant to be opened. FedEx, UPS and any other carriers can open up whatever they want whenever they want.

But, this article sheds light on the fact that they might be opening international mail at a rate more than we previously thought.

Grant Goodman, an 81-year-old retired history professor, drew attention to the policy after a letter he received from a colleague in the Philippines was opened and resealed by Customs and Border Protection, and only then sent on to him.

He said he was shocked and amazed that the letter -- which he received last month from another retired history professor with whom he has corresponded for 50 years -- had been screened.

"It was a big surprise," Goodman, who taught at the University of Kansas, told Reuters. "The public should know that this is being done. Nobody whom I know had any idea that this was going on. And as far as I know, it's never been announced. It's never been revealed that this is being done."

The ACLU has an Action Campaign against the whole NSA spying on people deal, so you can write your reps and let them know you don't like that, and this about Customs (if you think it might do any good). The EFF has a similar action campaign. Both will automatically fax or email your representatives after you input your info and it generates an prefilled out letter. - U.S. opening some private mail in terror fight - Jan 9, 2006

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