If you’re wondering why the mail is slower these days, and think COVID is to blame, there’s another reason.
The U.S. Postal Service, recently revealed to be acting as its own clumsy version of the CIA or NSA as it conducts surveillance on Americans, is using facial recognition from controversial company Clearview AI and fake identities online to enhance its snooping, according to a new report covered by Yahoo News.
Under the Postal Service’s law-enforcement arm, analysts are reported to be using intelligence tools to track social media posts and share their booty with other agencies, Yahoo reports.
The Internet Covert Operations Program (iCOP) was first uncovered in April when it came under scrutiny for tracking people’s social media posts leading up to protests and demonstrations. The Postal Service subsequently owned up to it.
It now appears that the program – believed to date back to 2018 – is more extensive than previously thought.
The United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) is reportedly using Clearview AI to “help identify unknown targets in an investigation or locate additional social media accounts for known individuals,” according to Yahoo.
Being used as well are Zignal Labs, which runs searches on possible threats, and Nfusion, which generates anonymous, phony online accounts, according to the site.
Clearview AI was sued by the American Civil Liberties Union in March, accused of illegally collecting photos of three billion people by scraping them from internet sites without their permission. News of that operation raises concerns of China-level surveillance in the U.S. and other countries.
At least seven U.S. states and numerous cities have limited government use of Clearview’s technology over fears of civil rights violations.