In the wake of service already affected by the pandemic, the United States Postal Service announced that starting October 1, it will begin slowing mail delivery.
And it will cost more.
The move by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is meant to cut costs – and comes after many Americans learned that USPS has a secret spy program that monitors Americans’ social media accounts and reports to law enforcement.
Changes in delivery times could spell trouble for things like paying bills or receiving medication through the mail, and will probably affect the elderly and rural Americans most.
As part of the new delivery plan, delivery for standard first class mail anywhere in the U.S. will go from the current three days for delivery to five days. This will include things like letters, bill, and tax documents.
According to a delivery changes analysis earlier in the year done by the Washington Post, some western states like California and Nevada, where there may be a large rural population, and Florida with a large senior citizen population, may feel the most impact of the new delivery system.
CNN also reports that post office hours will be cut in some places.
The USPS predicts that it will lose roughly $160 million over the next ten years, hence the slower delivery, higher prices for shipping, and cut hours at some offices.
The USPS also claims that, “We’ll make better use of our trucks and existing surface network to move the mail, relying less on costly air transportation. By improving service reliability and increasing efficiency, we can keep costs at reasonable levels and help keep postage rates affordable for our customers.”
But Paul Steidler, senior fellow at the Lexington Institute, and a postal service expert, says that around four out of ten pieces of mail will be delivered more slowly, and that “means mail delivery will be slower than in the 1970s.” Steidler called DeJoy’s plan “disastrous.”
Recently, Politico reported on a very little known operation going on within the USPS. The postal service that is apparently desperate for money has no problems running a “covert operations program” that monitored the social media activity of Americans after the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
The program, known as “iCOP” was up and running five days after the violence at the Capitol. Among their activities was sending information to the nation’s law enforcement agencies “on how to view social media posts that had been deleted.”
This operation was first reported on by Yahoo in April, and stated that it was in operation in March. However, but the Politico report claims iCOP was fully at work as early as Jan. 11.
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