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‘We’ve been opening your communications for years,’ admits Royal Mail

first class servicing of postie holidaysFollowing the announcement of plans to give GCHQ the power to monitor individuals’ web use and open their emails, the Royal Mail has confirmed that it has been running a similar system for years.

‘Opening people’s emails is all well and good,’ said Moya Greene, chief executive of the Royal Mail, ‘but it will never be as profitable as opening people’s birthday cards. Workers in the sorting office tell me you can make £200 on a good day. Who is to say that that money wouldn’t have been used to fund terrorist attacks, instead of funding our postmen’s holidays to the Costa del Sol? We sympathise with the government wanting to put more checks in place, but we would prefer fewer cheques and more cash.’

Civil liberties groups have been quick to condemn the move, with Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, describing it as an ‘attack on privacy’. ‘People have the right to view content that they don’t want others to be aware of and visit sites that may be considered embarrassing. I mean, would you want your friends and family knowing you had visited the Daily Mail website?’

However, the Royal Mail has reassured customers that although it already knows who uses the mail to receive adult content, it handles this personal information sensitively. ’95% of Playboy subscriptions are opened and thoroughly checked before delivery, and we never normally have a problem sticking the envelopes back down afterwards. Then we ensure the recipient’s privacy is respected by deliberately leaving the package with their neighbour and writing ‘Express Delivery: PORN’ on the front.’

The Prime Minister has defended the policy of monitoring personal communications and insisted it is nothing new. ‘In fact the idea came to me following a dinner party with Rupert Murdoch,’ said David Cameron. ‘Funnily enough I don’t remember inviting him – he must have just heard about it somehow – but he showed his support for intercepting mail by handing me £250,000 in a brown envelope on the way in.’

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Posted: Apr 1st, 2012 by Perks

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