[ music | Radiohead – Karma Police ]
When I checked my Post Office Box on Monday, I found a lovely photocopied letter amongst my mail. This is a large scan of the letter, and this is a smaller scan. The only edit I performed was to erase my PO Box number that had been hand written above where it says “ID only”. The “ID only” part was also handwritten, but is part of the photocopy, while my individual copy had my number written on it. I’ve also retyped the letter in it’s entirety letter for letter below so you can more easily read it.
Notice how this starts out as asking you for identification. That seems reasonable enough. However, when you read the entire document, you see it’s not really interested in your identity, it’s interested in your physical address. It’s quite specific about what they will accept as ID also, excluding documents many of us would reach for first. I asked the desk clerk about it, airing my dissatisfaction, and she said it’s all related to the PATRIOT Act, saying they all have to “jump through lots of silly hoops since 9/11.” Once again, the PATRIOT Act is being used as a crowbar for the gov’t to pry further into our lives. If a terrorist is using a post office box for illegal purposes, that alone is more than enough for USPS Investigators to be called in, and even to bring in the Feds. Further, if these “evildoers” need to be tracked to their base camp, asking them isn’t likely to provide truthful results. If these guys can get fake IDs and visas and whatnot, they can use those fake documents to fake out the USPS.
This is nothing but further encroachment of legitimate citizens’ rights that does nothing to stop terrorism or illegal activities whatsoever. I can’t imagine that this kind of security theater makes anyone feel safe, and I’m sickened that this kind of crap goes on still.