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Letter to companies which send employees to my home:

Letter to companies which send employees to my home:

To: Customer Service -- Power Company, Cable/Phone Company, Water Utility, UPS, FedEx, Postmaster.

To who it may concern:

Recently the federal government has announced a program called TIPS (Terrorist Information and Prevention System) to gather information on "unusual" and "suspicious" activities by Americans.

They assert that they will be recruiting the staff of your organization in particular to be informants for this program, so that your staff, when they visit the homes of your customers and delivery destinations, can snoop for such unusual activity and report it.

As your customer, I am opposed to this program on principle. I believe it will create a climate of suspicion and distrust. Americans should not be asked to spy on Americans. I have allowed your employees onto my property to conduct mutually beneficial business, but have always presumed there was an expectation that my privacy would be protected, that what was seen on my property would be considered confidential if it didn't relate to the business at hand.

Do I worry that TIPS informants will see anything on my property that is suspicious or unusual? No -- though those words are of course hard to define and what's unusual to a member of your staff may be normal to many others. I believe that a society under surveillance is not a free society, and your organization should not participate in such surveillance, no matter how benign it may seem at first blush.

As such I request and demand that no employee you send to my property be a member of the TIPS informant program or any such similar program. Any member of the TIPS program found on my property will be considered trespassing and treated accordingly as provided by law.

(For non-monopoly organizations:)

If you can't comply with this requirement (say for example all your employees in my area join the TIPS program) please contact me as soon as possible so that I can arrange to take my business elsewhere, or require those who send packages use an alternate service which does not spy on its customers.

I realize this may seem like an egregious demand. After all, I could hardly require you to not send employees who are members of certain societies, or of certain creeds. TIPS however is a government program, and my request concerns activities they will undertake while on my property. I believe if an employee is sent to my property, they should do their job, not report on my activities.

In addition let me state that it is my expectation that in the ordinary confidential course of our relationship, you would not report that I have sent this letter to any authority or any TIPS informant, as complaining about a policy should never be grounds for suspicion in a free society. You may of course report in aggregate the number of such letters you receive.

Please contact me if you can't comply with this requirement.

Yours truly,