US proposes aggressive new social media screening for non-citizens

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A proposed form from the State Department would require all US visa applicants to disclose their social media identities, according to a Bloomberg report. The requirement is significantly broader than the documents presented previously, which made the disclosure voluntary and applied only to a portion of the identified visa applicants for additional scrutiny. The public has 60 days to comment on the proposal; Comments can be sent to [email protected]
The new forms will list specific social media platforms and require applicants to "provide any identifiers used by applicants for those platforms during the five years prior to the application date." Platforms can be added or removed as the system develops.
It is the latest in a continuing effort to gather more information about the social media activities of US visitors as they enter the country, driven by Congress in the wake of the San Bernardino shooting. The Office of Immigration and Customs is actively requesting companies to help analyze the resulting data, although no provider has been publicly chosen to implement it.
A report from the DHS Inspector General in February 2017 found that the first versions of the detection program had not established clear objectives, and at least one tool implemented "was not a viable option for automatic detection of social networks and that the manual review it was more effective in identifying accounts. "


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