Visiting America? US border agents want your Twitter, Facebook URLs

1 min

The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency wants to collect links to social network accounts of people visiting the Land of the FreeTM.

Under new proposals, each traveler filling out an I-94 travel form or applying for an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) visa will be asked for “information associated with your online presence/social media identifier.”

In other words, you’ll be asked to hand over your Twitter and Instagram handles, Facebook and LinkedIn URLs, and so on, so you can be watched.

“It will be an optional data field to request social media identifiers to be used for vetting purposes, as well as applicant contact information,” the proposal states.

“Collecting social media data will enhance the existing investigative process and provide DHS [Department of Homeland Security] greater clarity and visibility to possible nefarious activity and connections by providing an additional tool set which analysts and investigators may use to better analyze and investigate the case.”

The CBP already does some social media monitoring of incoming travelers, as was shown in 2012 when two visitors were detained on arrival and held for questioning, before being deported 12 hours later, because of comments one of them had made on Twitter.

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