October 20, 2017

US immigration department to start collecting social media info on all immigrants

The Department of Homeland Security will from next month start collecting social media information connected to all immigrants residing in the USA. This includes naturalized citizens and permanent residents.

According to Buzzfeed, the new rule could go into effect as soon as October 2017. Buzzfeed also reported that the government could start monitoring social media communications between US citizens and immigrants.

A report published earlier this year by the Homeland Security’s inspector general shows that the DHS has completed pilot programs for screening immigrants using social media. The report, however, is said to “lack criteria for measuring performance to ensure they meet their objectives.”

“Although the pilots include some objectives, such as determining the effectiveness of an automated search tool and assessing data collection and dissemination procedures, it is not clear DHS is measuring and evaluating the pilots’ results to determine how well they are performing against set criteria,” reads part of the report.

In May 2017, the US government approved a new questionnaire for visa applicants that requires all applicants to provide their social media handles for the last five years. The form also requests biographical information for the past 15 years.

The new rule was filed last week and it may affect those looking to visit the US, those who hold green cards and naturalized citizens according to a report by The Hill.

By Jamhuri News Reporter

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