WASHINGTON (Special to the Dispatch).—The Federal Bureau of Investigation has asked Congress to pass legislation that would make it illegal to manufacture or sell envelopes with glue on the flaps, unless the flap could be opened and resealed without evidence of tampering.

“Terrorists and domestic dissidents often communicate through first-class mail,” explained Division Chief Rufus Towhee, head of the FBI’s crack Steam Squad. “Your federal government has hundreds of kettles boiling twenty-four hours a day, but it simply isn’t enough to steam open even a tiny fraction of the personal correspondence that moves through the Post Office.”

Mr. Towhee dismissed privacy concerns raised by some civil-liberties advocates.

“We’re not saying you can’t send private letters,” he told reporters at a press conference. “We’re just saying you have to let the FBI read them.”

Current adhesive technology, Mr. Towhee said, makes it quite practical to manufacture envelopes that can be opened and resealed as neatly as before.

Correspondents need not worry about their privacy, he added, because the proposed legislation would make it illegal for anyone but authorized federal agents or their duly licensed contractors and subcontractors to intercept private letters.

“Privacy is a non-issue, because it will be a crime for anyone else to read your letters,” Mr. Towhee explained. “So you can be assured that the only people who will see your correspondence are federal agents and criminals.”


  1. whoopie says:

    I’ve found that wee bit of dish soap mixed in a shot glass of water and wiped over the edge of the flap will loosen the glue enough to open the envelope which can then be resealed when dry without any appearance of tampering.

  2. I don’t see why there should be any fuss. I don’t feel safe unless the FBI has vetted any love letters sent to me. I appreciate any comments they might write in the margins, too.

  3. Martha says:

    I cannot believe that the obvious solution has not occurred to the minds of those engaged in protecting the civil rights of the world’s populations; make it compulsory by law to use only postcards.

    No necessity for re-sealable envelopes there! It would also have the salutary effect of making it plain which individuals lurking amongst the throngs of their fellow-citizens are dangerous criminals and possibly in cahoots with terrorists, if not actual terrorists themselves, because only such depraved characters would insist on continuing to post their private correspondence in sealed envelopes, instead of allowing it to be freely perused by all those working in the postal service, agents of the law, curious bystanders, nosy neighbours, and those standing looking over your shoulder in the queue to buy stamps.

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