Tuesday, December 27, 2016
US Government Quietly Starts Asking Travelers for Social Media Accounts
The U.S. government has quietly started to ask foreign travelers to hand over their social media accounts upon arriving in the country, a program that aims to spot potential terrorist threats but which civil liberties advocates have long opposed as a threat to privacy.
The program has been active since Tuesday, asking travelers arriving to the U.S. on visa waivers to voluntarily enter information associated with their online presence, including "Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube, as well as a space for users to input their account names on those sites," Politico reports.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security first proposed the idea in June, when it was met with opposition and criticism from rights groups, consumer advocates, and other entities, including the Internet Association, which represents Facebook, Google, and Twitter.