Postal Service conducted surveillance on protesters with pro-gun, anti-Biden agendas, report

Investigation based on redacted documents obtained by the Cato Institute think tank.

Updated: September 23, 2022 - 8:10am

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The U.S. Postal Service is reportedly monitoring protesters across the country, focusing on Americans with such interests as guns and President Biden's election.

Postal inspectors tracked the activities of gun rights activists gathering in Virginia; people demonstrations in Louisville, Kentucky, after the police shooting of Breonna Taylor; and far-right groups going to Washington, D.C., after Biden's election, according to an investigation by The Washington Times.

The Times reports the investigation is based on redacted documents obtained by a fellow at the Cato Institute think tank that detail postal inspectors' "spying" from September 2020 through April 2021. 

Among the operations was a social media surveillance effort named the Internet Covert Operations Program. 

One apparent example of the Postal Service's surveillance – based upon the documents an institute fellow obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request – is a redacted bulletin reportedly showing the agency's Inspection Service having tracked "peaceful armed protests" at a Second Amendment rally for Lobby Day in Richmond, Va., on Jan. 18, 2021. 

"The gathering lasted approximately two hours, with members identifying themselves as affiliates of the Proud Boys, Boogaloo Bois and Last Sons of Liberty," the bulletin reportedly reads. "Counter-protesters from the Black Lives Matter movement also attended. With heavy law enforcement presence the demonstrations stayed peaceful in nature."