Posted at: 07/04/2013 7:43 PM
Updated at: 07/04/2013 7:47 PM
By: Leslie Dyste

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New York Times: Postal Service Takes Photos of Each Piece of Mail

The New York Times is reporting details of a mail surveillance program the postal service runs.

According to the report, computers take pictures of the outside of every piece of paper mail in the United States.

That's about 160 billion pieces a year. It's not known how long the government saves the images.

They created the program after the anthrax attacks in late 2001 that killed five people.

The Postal Service argues it allows them to retrace the path of mail when law enforcement needs it.