Did anyone think Facebook and other Internet social media sites wouldn’t be used by government to monitor and control the population?
It’s now so egregious that even Yahoo News had to take note. According to a document obtained by Yahoo, the law enforcement arm of the U.S. Postal Service has been running a program that monitors and preserves Americans’ social media posts, including posts about planned protests.
The specifics of the spying program, known as iCOP, or Internet Covert Operations Program, have not previously been made public. The work involves having government analysts comb social media sites to look for what the document describes as “inflammatory” postings and then sharing that information across government agencies.
Was the Post Office doing this with mail back when it was made of paper? Why not?
“Analysts with the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) Internet Covert Operations Program (iCOP) monitored significant activity regarding planned protests occurring internationally and domestically on March 20, 2021,” reads a March 16 government bulletin, marked as “law enforcement sensitive” and distributed through the Department of Homeland Security. “Locations and times have been identified for these protests, which are being distributed online across multiple social media platforms, to include right-wing leaning Parler and Telegram accounts.”
A number of groups were to gather in cities worldwide on March 20 as part of a World Wide Rally for Freedom and Democracy, to protest everything from COVID lockdowns to 5G. “Parler users have commented about their intent to use the rallies to engage in violence. Image 3 on the right is a screenshot from Parler indicating two users discussing the event as an opportunity to engage in a ‘fight’ and to ‘do serious damage,’” says the bulletin. “No intelligence is available to suggest the legitimacy of these threats,” it adds.
The bulletin includes screenshots of posts about the protests from various social media sites like Facebook, Parler and Telegram. Individuals mentioned by name include one alleged Proud Boys members and several others whose identifying details were included but whose posts did not appear to contain threats.