Define That Term #23
NYPD Seeking to Implement New Video Surveillance System

Homeland Security Opening Private Mail

I  came across an article today that I find to be somewhat disturbing, entitled Homeland Security Opening Private Mail.  According to this article, a spokesman from the Customs and Border Protection division of Homeland Security stated that:

“All mail originating outside the United States Customs territory that is to be delivered inside the U.S. Customs territory is subject to Customs examination,” says the CBP Web site.  That includes personal correspondence. 

“All mail means ‘all mail,’” said John Mohan, a CBP spokesman, emphasizing the point. “This process isn’t something we’re trying to hide,” Mohan said, noting the wording on the agency’s Web site.  “We’ve had this authority since before the Department of Homeland Security was created,” Mohan said.

However, Mohan declined to outline what criteria are used to determine when a piece of personal correspondence should be opened, but said, “obviously it’s a security-related criteria.”

It's comforting to know that if you correspond with someone from another country, your letter is subject to inspection by a representative from the very-official-and-somewhat-ominous-sounding Customs and Border Protection division of Homeland Security.  You can't be too safe.  (In case you missed it, the previous phrase was spoken in the spirit of the SNL skit  about the nuclear reactor and the direction that "You can't have too much water in the nuclear reactor.")

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