A nonprofit government watchdog is suing in federal court to force the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to produce copies of documents on its tracking of social media posts about planned political protests.
The suit, filed by Judicial Watch in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, is based on the group’s April 28 U.S. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and the failure of USPS to respond by the required deadline.
In its original request, Judicial Watch asked for all documents related to multiple aspects of the government’s activity that is reportedly known as the Internet Covert Operations Program (ICOP), including:
All records from Jan. 1, 2020, to the present identifying criteria for flagging social media posts as “inflammatory” or otherwise worthy of further scrutiny by other government agencies.
All records from Jan. 1, 2020, to the present relating to the ICOP database of social media posts.
All records and communications from Jan. 1, 2020, to the present between any USPS official and any official from the FBI or the U.S. Department of Homeland Security regarding ICOP.
All social media posts flagged under ICOP and forwarded to other government agencies.
Any analyses outlining USPS authority to monitor, track, and collect Americans’ social media posts.
All records concerning justifications for USPS to monitor, track, and collect Americans’ social media posts.
All records of communication sent to and by Chief Postal Inspector Gary Barksdale from Jan. 1, 2020, to the present concerning ICOP.
“Did the Biden administration weaponize the United States Postal Service to improperly spy on Americans?” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement announcing the suit.
A USPS spokesman didn’t respond to a request by The Epoch Times for comment on the Judicial Watch suit.
The USPS program first came to public attention earlier this year when its existence was reported by Yahoo News. As The Epoch Times then reported, the revelation prompted a request from a group of House Republicans to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.