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A new U.S. law authorises immigration authorities to collect social media information from persons entering the United States.  Under a new Federal rule, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is authorized to collect social media data from all international travelers, immigrants and naturalised U.S. Citizens entering the U.S.

This new policy was anticipated after a DHS document published on the 18th of September stating that government will broaden its collection of online data beginning in the month of October.  The DHS document states that the government will "expand the categories of records" collected "to include social media handles, aliases, associated identifiable information, and search results" and will "update record source categories to include publicly available information obtained from the internet and information obtained and disclosed pursuant to information sharing agreements."

 

This ties in with legislation signed earlier in the year approving a new questionnaire for U.S. Visa applicants.  A part of the Trump Administration’s “extreme vetting” policies and approved the 23rd of May by the Office of Management and Budget, this is said to help bolster national security and assist in confirming identities and help to conduct more rigorous national security vetting of immigrants. This includes requesting unlock codes from travelers, searches of laptops, phones or other electronic devices, and demands for social media handles and aliases such as Facebook, etc to view media posts and other information. The questionnaire asks for social media handles dating back over the last five years and biographical information dating back 15 years.

 

It’s important to stay abreast of all the current events and laws taking place in this fast paced global economy.

 

Taking all this into consideration will this change the way you communicate on Social Media if you are interested in traveling or working in the U.S.?

 


Reference (REUTERS)

Read more on the Presidential Proclamation on Visas

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