Could the NSA Keep Track of Who You Send Letters To?

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OK, this is just out of curiosity. Suppose the government started up a program that tracked everyone’s mail. They didn’t open letters to read them, they merely kept track of the address, return address, and postmark date for every piece of first class mail and every package that anyone sent anywhere. This metadata would, naturally, be collected for anything sent through the postal service, but also for packages sent via FedEx, UPS, and so forth. The postal system is pretty automated these days, so this probably wouldn’t be all that hard to implement.

Anyway, how do you think the public would react? Would people care more about this than they do about phone and email records? What do you think?

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Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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