The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has mooted a scheme urging the US government to make foreigners coming on immigrant visas reveal passwords of their social media accounts.
Passwords of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter would have to be shared by future immigrants when they fill the entry form or are applying for ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) visa with the authorities of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
The CBP will decide on enforcing the system after the US government responds to this proposal. A CBP official is quoted by the New York Times as saying that gathering social media information would improve the investigative process that currently exists and provides more transparency to the DHS on suspicious activities being carried out by mischievous elements.
Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla), who had originally urged for a comprehensive examination of the social media data of the visitors to the US, told the news daily that voluntary revelations would not help in ensuring safety. Compulsory screening is needed if America wants to prevail in the digital war zone.
Although there has been opposition from some quarters that collection of private information would entail violating individual privacy, advocates of this policy are of the view that strict regulations of this kind were necessary for keeping America and its citizens safe.
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