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Gender: Male
Hometown: TX
Home country: USA
Member since: Thu Jul 23, 2020, 06:05 PM
Number of posts: 1,149

Journal Archives

Post Office Cops Used Social Media Surveillance Program Illegally

The United States Postal Inspection Service, the law enforcement arm of the post office, was “not legally authorized” to conduct blanket keyword searches of social media for terms such as “protest,” “attack,” and “destroy,” an inspector general investigation found, because it is only supposed to investigate cases with some connection to the post office or the mail.

The USPSIS is the oldest police agency in the country, called the United States Postal Inspection Service, or USPIS. Its job is to police the mail and crimes related to the mail such as mail fraud. USPIS dates back to a time when the postal service was the largest and most significant branch of the federal government and the USPIS was its only national policing power.

Of course, the federal government has many policing and law enforcement arms nowadays, which is one of the reasons that a Yahoo News report from April 2021 was so surprising to many Americans. Yahoo reported the agency’s Internet Covert Operations Program, better and somehow not satirically known as iCOP, was monitoring social media for “inflammatory” postings associated with protest movements on both the Left and the Right. This puzzled First Amendment watchdogs and security experts since the federal government has no shortage of agencies to monitor social media for inflammatory posts, yet for some reason postal cops were doing it. Yahoo News also reported that iCOP included use of Clearview AI, the highly controversial facial recognition system that is built on a database of images scraped from social media.

As a result of that investigation, the House of Representatives asked the USPS Office of Inspector General to investigate this program. The USPSOIG has just published that report which found iCOP used “proactive searches” that “did not include any terms with a postal nexus,” meaning they had nothing to do with the post office. The USPIS did not immediately respond to a Motherboard request for comment on the report.


New Mutant "XE" Omicron Variant May Be The Most Transmissible Version Of Covid Yet, According To WHO

The CDC announced this week that the BA.2 Omicron variant, which is reportedly 30% more transmissible than the original BA.1 Omicron strain — has become dominant among new cases sequenced in the United States. That’s a startling rise for a variant that was less than 1% of all sequences as recently as January. But, just as Americans are hearing about BA.2, there’s already a newer, even more transmissible variant on the rise.

There are actually three new variants that have been given designations. According to a recently-released report from the UK Health Services Agency, the two being called XD and XF are combinations of Delta and BA.1, or so-called “Deltacron” strains, which have been talked about for months but made no significant inroads in any country.

XD is present in several European countries, but has not been detected in the UK, according to the report. XF caused a small cluster in the UK but has not been detected there since February 15. The variant of greater concern, it seems, is the one dubbed XE.

Like the other two new arrivals, XE is a recombinant strain, meaning it is made up of two previously-distinct variants. But it is not a Deltacron mix. XE is actually made up of the original Omicron (BA.1) and the newer Omicron (BA.2) which has taken over in the U.S.

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