Tags: DHS | Proposal | Foreign | Visitors | Social Media | Data

New DHS Proposal Would Ask Foreign Visitors for Social Media Data

Image: New DHS Proposal Would Ask Foreign Visitors for Social Media Data
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By    |   Friday, 24 Jun 2016 11:21 AM

Foreign visitors to the U.S. who lack a visa may be asked to list social media services they use and their usernames, under a proposal from the Department of Homeland Security that is designed to enhance security checks on foreign travelers.

But answering the question would be entirely optional, suggesting it would be easy for people entering the country with malicious intent to avoid detection through an examination of their social media presence.

"Please enter information associated with your online presence — Provider/Platform — Social media identifier," reads the proposed addition to a U.S. entry form currently given to visitors without visas.

The question would appear on the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) and the Nonimmigrant Visa Waiver Arrival/Departure Record (form I-94W). Adding the question is estimated to cost taxpayers over $265 million a year.

The department claims that "collecting social media data will enhance the existing investigative process and provide DHS greater clarity and visibility to possible nefarious activity and connections by providing an additional tool set which analysts and investigators may use to better analyze and investigate the case," in the Federal Register entry posted Thursday.

But it says nothing about why the answering the question would not be mandatory.

The new rule would also require travelers entering the country from one of about 40 nations under a visa waiver program that was modified in response to concerns raised by the Paris terrorist attacks last year, The Hill reported Thursday.

The government released its official policy for background investigations concerning social media for the first time in May, according to documents posted by The Washington Post.

Although no one is required to give up their password or let officials see their private accounts, any publicly available posts or information will be checked.

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Foreign visitors to the U.S. who lack a visa may be asked to list social media services they use and their usernames, under a proposal from the Department of Homeland Security that is designed to enhance security checks on foreign travelers.
DHS, Proposal, Foreign, Visitors, Social Media, Data
294
2016-21-24
Friday, 24 Jun 2016 11:21 AM
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