US/Postal Service

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Group.png US/Postal Service   WebsiteRdf-icon.png
United States Postal Service Logo.svg
AbbreviationUSPS
Parent organizationUS
Headquarters475 L'Enfant Plaza SWWashington, D.C. 20260-0004
LeaderUnited States Postmaster General
TypeIndependent
Subgroups• Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service
• United States Postal Inspection Service
• United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General
Staff617,254

The United States Postal Service (USPS), as a quasi-governmental agency, it has many special privileges, including sovereign immunity, eminent domain powers, powers to negotiate postal treaties with foreign nations, and an exclusive legal right to deliver first-class and third-class mail. Indeed, in 2004, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a unanimous decision that the USPS was not a government-owned corporation, and therefore could not be sued under the Sherman Antitrust Act. The U.S. Supreme Court has also upheld the USPS's statutory monopoly on access to letter boxes against a First Amendment freedom of speech challenge; it thus remains illegal in the U.S. for anyone, other than the employees and agents of the USPS, to deliver mailpieces to letter boxes marked "U.S. Mail."

Mass surveillance

The United States Postal Inspection Service has been engaging in a clandestine mass surveillance programme since 2001. This was criticised in 2015 by the USPS Inspector General whose report stated that “Agencies must demonstrate a reasonable basis for requesting mail covers, send hard copies of request forms to the Criminal Investigative Service Center for processing, and treat mail covers as restricted and confidential... A mail cover should not be used as a routine investigative tool.”[1]

 

An event carried out

EventDescription
Mail Isolation Control and TrackingA US mail program to photograph of the exterior of every piece of mail that is processed in the United States.


References