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The Government Is Snooping Through Your Snail Mail

In addition to the email and phone metadata the U.S. government is tracking, the feds also have an eye on your regular old snail mail, which is actually a "treasure trove of information," according to a former FBI agent who used to work with the Mail Isolation Control and Tracking program, as it's called. One would think that snail mail, a relic from a former century, wouldn't provide that much insight into our lives — isn't it all bills and unwamted brochures by now? But, it's just about as useful, it not more so, than digital collection. "Looking at just the outside of letters and other mail, I can see who you bank with, who you communicate with — all kinds of useful information that gives investigators leads that they can then follow up on with a subpoena," James J. Wedick, the FBI agent, told The New York Times's Ron Nixon.


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What the bright green (.50 size) circle sticker said on the front of the bubble letter size envelope carrying 2 small packs of colored cotton seeds ordered on the internet and delivered by USPS First Class Mail.

Haven't ordered from this heirloom seed company in MD before and don't know if this is normal practice for the post office, since I've never had one of these stickers on my mail until today.

The seeds look ok and grateful they were not frisked, but curious about what type of scan they went through.