The US postal service approves more than 10,000 requests from US law enforcement each year to record names, addresses and other information from the outside of packages, according to information released through a Freedom of Information Act request.
The warrantless surveillance mail program — as it is known — requires only the approval of the US Postal Inspection Service Director, and not a judge.
Signing statement may have allowed mail to be opened
There’s reason to believe more mail may be being opened, as well.
In late 2006, a signing statement issued by President Bush suggested that his office had expanded executive branch power to open mail without a warrant.
The signing statement accompanied H.R. 6407, the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006, which reiterated a prohibition on opening first class mail without a warrant.
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