WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) joined U.S. Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) in sending a letter to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) demanding stronger protections for the people of Wyoming’s privacy when sending letters and packages.
The letter asked for reforms to the USPIS’ “mail covers” surveillance system where the agency tracks the senders and recipients of letters and packages and sends that information to law enforcement agencies without any court oversight.
“We cannot allow the federal government to be weaponized to violate the privacy of the people of Wyoming,” said Senator Lummis. “Government surveillance needs to be conducted within the guidelines of the Constitution and fully transparent to the public. Federal agencies do not have the authority to grant themselves loopholes to trample on the freedom of the people of Wyoming.”
Click here to read the letter.
- The Postal Inspection Service has not reported the number of mail records it requests since 2014, or any information about how many letters and packages are searched. A 2014 audit by the Office of Inspector General showed government agencies requested more than 100,000 mail records between 2010 and 2014.
- The USPS Inspector General recommended a number of reforms to mail surveillance in 2014 and 2015 audits, but it is unclear how the agency responded to those recommendations.