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U.S. Visa Applicants May Be Asked for Social Media History, Says State Dept

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The federal government wants foreign visitors to supply their social media history before they can enter the country, according to Reuters.

On Friday, the State Department filed a proposal that would make it mandatory for immigrant and non-immigrant visa applicants to submit “all social media identities” that they’ve used in the past five years.

The proposal would need to be approved by the Office of Management and Budget and would be used to identify those seeking entry into the U.S.

The proposal falls in line with President Donald Trump’s plan to vet immigrants prior to entering the country in order to curb terrorism.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) blasted the proposal saying it would have a negative effect on freedom of speech.

“People will now have to wonder if what they say online will be misconstrued or misunderstood by a government official,” Hina Shamsi, director ACLU’s National Security Project, told Reuters in a statement.

“We’re also concerned about how the Trump administration defines the vague and over-broad term ‘terrorist activities’ because it is inherently political and can be used to discriminate against immigrants who have done nothing wrong,” he continued.

The public can weigh in with comments with OMB before they approve or deny the request, Reuter reports.

Applicants would also have to submit past telephone numbers, email addresses and travel history.


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