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New Law Requires Visitors To The US To Turn Over Their Social Media History

The new law will be in accordance with President Trump's key national security

 on 31st March 2018 @ 12.04pm
the new law will be in accordance with president trump s key national security © press
The new law will be in accordance with President Trump's key national security

The US State Department is set to unveil new rules on Friday that will require visitors or immigrants to the United States to "turn over" their entire social media history.

The new law will be in accordance with President Donald Trump's key national security enhancements as part of his "extreme vetting" executive order.

Travelers would also be required to provide previous phone numbers, email addresses, and a list of international travel from the previous five years. 

vistors to the us will also have to disclose any immigration problems they ve had anywhere in the world © press
Vistors to the US will also have to disclose any immigration problems they've had anywhere in the world

Vistors to the US will also have to disclose any immigration problems they've had anywhere in the world, along with potential family ties to terrorism, the Washington Times reports.

ZeroHedge reports: Moreover, people from countries where female genital mutilation is common practice would be directed to a website to ensure that they know the practice is illegal in the United States.

The Friday publication will begin a "comment period" before the government finalizes the policies.

“This upgrade to visa vetting is long overdue, and it’s appropriate to apply it to everyone seeking entry, because terrorism is a worldwide problem. The aim is to try to weed out people with radical or dangerous views,” said Jessica Vaughan, the director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies - who called the effort to discourage female genital mutilation "innovative."

"The message needs to be sent that ‘we don’t do that here,’ " she said.

Vaughan also says the State Department should also request information on whether female travelers intend to enter the United States in order to give birth - a practice known as "birth tourism" in which women visit the U.S. so that their child born on American soil is a U.S. citizen.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has entertained plans to track the social media accounts of immigrants entering the country, however the State Department's Friday proposal would apply to tourists and others entering the country on temporary visas. In all, some 14 million people would be affected by the request for information, according to the department.

Privacy concerns

The Washington Times reports that Dan Crocetti, a former senior fraud investigator for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, said it makes sense to collect the information — but said officers need to stay within privacy rules, too.

He said in the immigration context, looking at social media can help an adjudicator assess whether the story the applicant is telling for applying for a benefit rings true — such as in the case of a marriage petition.

But Mr. Crocetti said someone’s refusal to turn over the passwords or other non-public social media information can’t be used on its own to deny approval.

“The use of social media is a wrench in their toolbox. It’s not that you use that same wrench for everything you do, but it’s a wrench, it’s a differently sized tool, and you have used that selectively,” he said.

The State Department currently collects information about travel history and family connections, however, the new proposal will seek to collect prior passport numbers, information about family members and a long history of past travel, employment, and contact information.

“Collecting this additional information from visa applicants will strengthen our process for vetting these applicants and confirming their identity,” said the State Department.

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