The US Government Now Wants To Dig Through Your Social Media Accounts If You Apply For A Visa To Enter The Country
The U.S. government is continuing to put its limitations on foreigners. As immigration agencies implement mandates by the Trump Administration over who is allowed to enter the country, they are adding at least one more restriction that could be a lot trickier to monitor.
For people seeking a U.S. visa, they must now turn over five years worth of social media handles, email addresses, and phone numbers.
The BBC is reporting that previously, only foreigners that had been to countries where terrorism is rampant were told to turn over their social media information. Now it applies to everyone.
While the thought of an agent seeing embarrassing posts of you is enough to make you queasy, the violation of privacy is concerning many Americans.
This change in policy could affect more than 4.7 million people a year.
“National security is our top priority when adjudicating visa applications, and every prospective traveler and immigrant to the United States undergoes extensive security screening,” a State Department official told The Daily News. “We are constantly working to find mechanisms to improve our screening processes to protect U.S. citizens while supporting legitimate travel to the United States.”
Some non-U.S. citizens are concerned that being vocal against President Trump might be enough to deny you entry into the U.S.
The Trump Administration first initiated this proposal last year, and now it’s been approved. The new social media questions are in place for anyone seeking a visa to enter the country.
“This attempt to collect a massive amount of information on the social media activity of millions of visa applicants is yet another ineffective and deeply problematic Trump administration plan,” Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU’s National Security Project, said in a statement last year, according to the Daily News. “It will infringe on the rights of immigrants and U.S. citizens by chilling freedom of speech and association, particularly because people will now have to wonder if what they say online will be misconstrued or misunderstood by a government official.”