U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s Online Analytical Support Activities
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s Analytics and Cybercrime Program provides investigative, forensic, and analytical support to field divisions and headquarters. A core component of this program is the Internet Covert Operations Program (iCOP), established in 2018 to provide analytics support for online investigations. Analysts respond to requests for assistance from postal inspectors and proactively gather intelligence using cryptocurrency analysis, open-source intelligence, and social media analysis. In April 2021, iCOP was renamed the Analytics Team.
What We Did
This report responds to a request from the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform to evaluate the Postal Inspection Service’s online analytical support activities, including its statutory authority and processes for these activities, and any related contracts. We reviewed 434 online analytical support requests from a statistical sample of 160 cases and 70 reports produced by iCOP to assess whether these activities were authorized. We also reviewed policies, procedures, and contracts associated with iCOP and the Analytics Team.