The law-enforcement arm of the postal service has been monitoring social media for “inflammatory material” and sharing information with the Department of Homeland Security and other government agencies, according to Yahoo News. Yahoo published a March 16, 2021, “Situational Awareness Bulletin” describing a Facebook group, “WorldWideDemonstration,” planning a protest for March 20.
The surveillance effort is known as the Internet Covert Operations Program, and is run by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service—“the primary law enforcement, crime prevention, and security arm of the U.S. Postal Service,” officials told Yahoo News. The agency employs 1,289 officers who enforce laws concerning the postal system, according to a 2019 report. These officers “carry firearms, make arrests, execute federal search warrants, and serve subpoenas.”