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
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 ]