According to the new policy of the State of Department of US, visa applicants are now bound to provide their social media accounts. This new policy started on Friday. The policy asks for the submission of any information about the social media account used by the applicant in the past five years.
US visa applicants now have to provide social media information
The policy gives the government easy access to visa applicants locations. as well as photos, dates of milestones along with tons of other personal information.
The State Government announced in a statement “We already request certain contact information, travel history, family member information, and previous addresses from all visa applicants,”
All these policies are implemented to protect the United States while allowing and supporting legitimate traveling.
Want US visa?
You'll need to give 5-year Facebook, Twitter informationhttps://t.co/0hEgcgXY7u
— Business Standard (@bsindia) June 3, 2019
According to a memo published in The Federal Register, this step might have been initiated by President Donald Trump. It said sometime in March 2017; Trump had asked the attorney general along with many other high dignitaries to put in effect a “uniform baseline for screening and vetting standards and procedures.”
Social media information might have been on that list.
The policy is not brand new
The policy seems like an escalation in the September 2017 measure. The measure taken by the Homeland Security Department proposed as well as enacted a new regulation. It called for surveillance of the social media account of all immigrants. Which even included naturalized citizens.
“This will become more normal as we move from the physical to the digital world. The way we use social media, how we talk, the information we put out there. It’s not strange a government would say, "Hey we want to see what you guys are saying.” Brad Esposito on US visa #TheDrum pic.twitter.com/g0L7iDnEdw
— ABC The Drum (@ABCthedrum) June 3, 2019
However, it is not the first time such a step has been taken. Barack Obama’s administration too called for such exclusive measures. The State Department then had asked the visa applicants to submit their social media information voluntarily.
However, the policy may dissuade many visa applicants, for many might perceive it as a psychological barrier to enter the US.
The Director of the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic, Elora Mukherjee, commented on the matter.
ONE DAY all this information will leak and be available for everyone!
Do we really need to visit the US anymore ???https://t.co/IaMQsMn56A
— Akshaya de Groot (@AkshayaDeGroot) June 2, 2019
She said “This seems to be part and parcel of the same effort to have an extraordinary broad surveillance of citizens and noncitizens.”
Social media can be considered more or less like a web that has trapped us all. No exceptions present. So having access to that will give the US government an imposing amount of strength.