US gov’t proposes heightened social media vetting of visa applicants

US gov’t proposes heightened social media vetting of visa applicants
By David Kravets

(credit: Jorge Díaz)

The State Department is opening the public comment period for a proposal that seeks to inspect social media accounts and other data of visa applicants the government believes may pose a danger.

The new vetting, the State Department said, likely will only impact about 0.5 percent of visa applicants per year—roughly 65,000 people. The new vetting being proposed would apply to applicants “who have been determined to warrant additional scrutiny in connection with terrorism or other national security-related visa ineligibilities,” according to a notice in the Federal Register by the State Department.

Those deemed to warrant the heightened vetting would have to disclose all of their previous passport numbers, five years of social media handles, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses. The plan also calls for US-bound travelers to supply 15 years of biographical data. Passwords are not required to be divulged in this proposal, though an earlier plan included requiring visa applicants to hand over their social media credentials.

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

May 6, 2017 at 05:31PM
via Ars Technica UK

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