Things That Matter

The Department Of Homeland Security Will Be Reviewing Social Media Accounts Of Immigrants, Green Card Holders And Naturalized Citizens

Starting Oct. 18, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will be reviewing the social media accounts of immigrants entering the U.S., green card holders and naturalized citizens, reports The New York Times.

The move, ordered by the Trump Administration, will begin on the same day as the president’s new revised travel ban.

The executive order is called the “Modified Privacy Act System of Records.” Here’s the type of information that the government can access: “[P]ublicly available information obtained from the internet, public records, public institutions, interviewees, commercial data providers and information obtained and disclosed pursuant to information sharing agreements.”

That includes “social media handles, aliases, associated identifiable information, and search results.” So, even if you’re tweeting behind @xoxloloasj0013 with a picture of an egg as your profile, they can still find you.

Wondering what “commercial data suppliers” means? That includes companies such as Equifax and “people search” vendors like Intelius and Axicom, Engadget reports. So, basically, everything.

It’s not completely new. The government has been gathering social media information from immigrants since 2012.

NPR notes that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services already has files on incoming immigrants and people who are applying for travel visas and citizenship, including permanent residents and green card holders. Under the new policy, all the information can now be shared within government agencies, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Border Patrol and the Transportation Security Administration.

There are several problematic issues with this new policy. Hugh Handeyside, Staff Attorney at the ACLU National Security Project, says the main thing the government wants to do is screen the social media accounts of non-citizens.

This kind of social media surveillance will dampen freedom of expression online, because people self-censor and avoid controversy when they know the government is watching,” Handeyside writes. “And such surveillance inevitably sweeps up the social media content of family members, friends and associates, including U.S. citizens.”

So even if you’re a U.S. citizen and chatting on Twitter with your Mexican cousin who happens to be a DREAMer or DACA recipient, your social media pages may be on their radar too.

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Angy Rivera, Co-Director of the NYS Youth Leadership Council, tweeted some very useful information about what the government looks for in suspicious online behavior and how to protect yourself.


READ: Certain Latinos Should Not Overshare On Social Media For Legal Reasons






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At Least 17 Dead And Hundreds Injured Following Massive Protests Across Colombia

Things That Matter

At Least 17 Dead And Hundreds Injured Following Massive Protests Across Colombia

A massive protest movement that swept across Colombia seems to have paid off – at least in the short term – as President Ivan Duque says that he will withdrawal the controversial tax plan that sent angry protesters into the streets. However, the protests claimed at least 17 victims who died during the unrest and hundreds more were injured.

Now that the president has withdrawn the controverial bill, many are wondering what’s next and will they have to take to the streets once again.

Massive protests claimed the lives of at least 17 people and hundreds more were injured across Colombia.

Unions and other groups kicked off marches on Wednesday to demand the government of President Ivan Duque withdraw a controversial tax plan that they say unfairly targets the most vulnerable Colombians.

Isolated vandalism, clashes between police and protesters and road blockades occurred in several cities on Saturday, and riot police were deployed in the capital.

Rights organization Human Rights Watch said it had received reports of possible police abuse in Cali, and local human rights groups alleged up to 17 deaths occurred.

After a week of protests, the government has shelved the controversial plan.

Faced with the unrest, the government of President Ivan Duque on Sunday ordered the proposal be withdrawn from Congress where it was being debated. In a televised statement, he said his government would work to produce new proposals and seek consensus with other parties and organizations.

President Duque, in his statement, acknowledged “it is a moment for the protection of the most vulnerable, an invitation to build and not to hate and destroy”.

“It is a moment for all of us to work together without paltriness,” he added. “A path of consensus, of clear perceptions. And it gives us the opportunity to say clearly that there will be no increase in VAT for goods and services.”

The tax reform had been heavily criticized for punishing the middle classes at a time of economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. The government introduced the bill on April 15 as a means of financing public spending. The aim was to generate $6.3 billion between 2022 and 2031 to reignite the fourth largest economy in Latin America.

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Federal Investigators Executed A Search Warrant On Rudy Giuliani’s N.Y.C. Home And This Is Just The Beginning

Things That Matter

Federal Investigators Executed A Search Warrant On Rudy Giuliani’s N.Y.C. Home And This Is Just The Beginning

Months of investigations on Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani officially came to a head Wednesday morning.

The former New York City mayor’s dealings with Ukraine officials in 2019 have been under scrutiny for months by authorities who have been investigating allegations Giuliani lobbied for powerful Ukrainian interests. The investigations have also looked into claims that Giuliani also solicited the Ukrainian government for damaging information on President Joe Biden when he was running against Trump in the 2020 election.

There is also the matter of allegations that Giuliani attempted to find information on Biden’s son Hunter, who was part of the board of an energy company in Ukraine.

Federal investigators executed a search warrant on Rudy Giuliani’s Manhattan home on Wednesday morning.

The search was part of a criminal investigation into Giuliani‘s activities with Ukraine. According to The New York Times, “Prosecutors obtained the search warrants as part of an investigation into whether Mr. Giuliani broke lobbying laws as President Trump’s personal lawyer.”

Federal agents seized cellphones and other electronic devices as part of the investigation. The search warrant took place around 6 a.m. at Mr. Giuliani’s apartment on Madison Avenue and his Park Avenue office in Manhattan.

The execution of a search warrant against the former president’s lawyer is particularly shocking.

The warrant comes as a major development in the investigation that has been ongoing for some time and examines the former- mayor’s conduct during Mr. Trump’s first impeachment trial.

“It was also a remarkable moment in Mr. Giuliani’s long arc as a public figure,” noted New York Times. “As mayor, Mr. Giuliani won national recognition for steering New York through the dark days after the Sept. 11 attacks, and earlier in his career, he led the same U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan that is investigating him now, earning a reputation as a hard-charging prosecutor who took on organized crime and corrupt politicians.”

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