Could the NSA Keep Track of Who You Send Letters To?

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OK, this is just out of curiosity. Suppose the government started up a program that tracked everyone’s mail. They didn’t open letters to read them, they merely kept track of the address, return address, and postmark date for every piece of first class mail and every package that anyone sent anywhere. This metadata would, naturally, be collected for anything sent through the postal service, but also for packages sent via FedEx, UPS, and so forth. The postal system is pretty automated these days, so this probably wouldn’t be all that hard to implement.

Anyway, how do you think the public would react? Would people care more about this than they do about phone and email records? What do you think?

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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