Louis DeJoy Ordered Postal Inspectors to Start Monitoring People’ Social Media Posts Amid George Floyd Protests

Contested US Postmaster General Louis DeJoy Has been under fire by Democrats since spearheading the post-election slowdown in post-November 2020 mail delivery and mining hundreds of millions of dollars in federal government properties like mail sorters and PO Boxes.

But, as Yahoo News reported on Friday, Republicans are now attacking after the Chief Postal Inspector told lawmakers on Wednesday that DeJoy personally ordered the U.S. Postal Inspection Service to monitor the U.S. as part of his Internet Covert Operations Program (iCOP) Americans to begin with ‘social media accounts. The USPIS is a full law enforcement agency that is part of the USPS and is under DeJoy’s jurisdiction.

This order to monitor accounts, or, as one GOP congressman put it this week, “spy on Americans,” came after George Floyd’s protests began and after DeJoy was allegedly threatened personally on social media.

Yahoo News adds, “It appears DeJoy was personally involved in moving the program to social media monitoring. A GOP adviser said that after DeJoy was named postmaster general in 2020, he reassigned part of the eight-person iCOP team, which currently consists of just five analysts, to focus on protesters. “

Last week it was revealed that there is a “covert” group of postal inspectors and that they are monitoring American social media posts.

Republican lawmakers, however, have voiced concern that the platforms the Postal Inspection Service has been monitoring include far-right social media sites that feature some of the most extreme elements of Conservative America, including Parler.

iCOP is a Trump-era creation that started in 2017. However, their mission changed dramatically after the DeJoy and USPS assets were threatened after the Black Lives Matter and George Floyd protests began.

Chief Postal Inspector Gary Barksdale’s testimony before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday was not well received by Republicans.

“The Chief Postal Inspector was unprepared to the point of incompetence,” Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) told Yahoo News, criticizing his “total inability to provide us with answers to basic questions” as “unacceptable.”

“He couldn’t tell me when this program started, how much money was being spent on it, or where the authority to spy on Americans came from,” said Mace, one of the few Republicans who stood up to then-President Donald Trump on Aug. January.

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), chairman of the extremist House Freedom Caucus, told Yahoo News that he was “not happy with their responses”.

“Their theory is that they need to protect their workers and property,” Biggs said. “I asked, ‘If you are already working with other agencies like FBI, Homeland Security, NSA, why don’t you ask them for help?'”

“Why not just call the agencies that are supposed to be monitoring American citizens?” he said.

Biggs said Barksdale told members of Congress that other federal law enforcement agencies were “not cooperating with USPIS,” and they were “making an executive decision” to have iCOP monitor Americans’ social media accounts.

“It’s really uncomfortable to think that you can watch every event and do a keyword search on related social media – that seems pretty broad to me,” Biggs told Yahoo News. “If you think your mandate includes this, your mandate is too broad.”

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