OK

This is only a Preview!

You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.

Posting a Diary Entry

Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.

When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.

If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.

ATTENTION: READ THE RULES.

  1. One diary daily maximum.
  2. Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
  3. No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
  4. Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
  5. Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
  6. Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
  7. Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
For the complete list of DailyKos diary guidelines, please click here.

Please begin with an informative title:

The government's insatiable need to know everything about your communications with everyone else doesn't stop with email.  Good old-fashioned snail mail is also under universal scrutiny.  

Williamodouglas
      "As nightfall does not come all at one, neither does
       oppression." -- William O. Douglas
The government has long had the authority to record the information on the outside of mail covers, but this required as a practical matter individualized suspicion and monitoring.  

Now technology has allowed much much more than this.  From the NYT (7/03/13) it appears that old fashioned mail-cover monitoring is:

... a forerunner of a vastly more expansive effort, the Mail Isolation Control and Tracking program, in which Postal Service computers photograph the exterior of every piece of paper mail that is processed in the United States — about 160 billion pieces last year. It is not known how long the government saves the images.
I'll tell you how long the government saves the images -- as long as they damn well please.  

I'd reckon that there isn't any instance of communication in this country, other than face to face, that is not known to the government.  Of course in the cases of emails and telephone calls, not only the fact of the communication but also the contents of those communications are also known.  

Bit by bit, we've built the mechanisms of a dictatorship.  Not that we have one now, but should one come along, we will be defenseless before it.  The real danger is that we won't necessarily see it coming.   Nightfall does not come all at once.

Intro

You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

Extended (Optional)

Poll

Now that you know that all your mail covers are photographed and stored by the government, how do you feel?

9%1 votes
18%2 votes
9%1 votes
18%2 votes
45%5 votes

| 11 votes | Vote | Results

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.