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Postal Officials Change Stance on Operation TIPS
Published on Thursday, July 18, 2002 by CNN
Postal Officials Change Stance on Operation TIPS
by Kelly Arena

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In a shift from its position 24 hours earlier, the U.S. Postal Service said Thursday it had decided to meet with the Justice Department to discuss Operation TIPS, a government plan to encourage U.S. postal workers to report suspicious activity as part of the government's war on terrorism.

USPS officials had said Wednesday their 800,000 employees would not participate in the proposed program, whose name is an acronym for Terrorist Information and Prevention System.

But the USPS explained Thursday, "That decision was made because we had insufficient information on the program, and because we had not discussed the issue internally or with the two unions affected."

In a statement, the postal service said it, the National Association of Letter Carriers and the National Rural Letter Carriers' Association agreed a meeting was necessary with Department of Justice representatives to discuss the initiative.

No meeting has been scheduled.

Several weeks ago, Homeland Security officials approached the postal service about Operations TIPS and held a preliminary meeting about the possible involvement of letter carriers in the proposed initiative.

Plans for the program have raised concern across the political spectrum. Members of civil liberties and privacy groups have joined conservative groups in their condemnation of the proposed program, dubbing it "Operation Snoops."

© 2002 Cable News Network LP, LLLP ]


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