Trump administration quietly announces plans to monitor immigrants’ social media accounts

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Alushta, Russia - December 3, 2014: Woman holding a iPhone 6 Space Gray with social networking service Instagram on the screen. iPhone 6 was created and developed by the Apple inc.

The Department of Homeland Security intends to monitor social network accounts and the Internet search history of legal immigrants as part of a new tracking system to roll next month.

The policy applies not only to immigrant applicants but also to US citizens and legitimate permanent residents. It will come into force on October 18, the same day that the last iteration of President Donald Trump’s travel ban begins.

First reported by BuzzFeed, the new rule was published in the Federal Register last week. This is an update for the foreign file, also known as File A, which is the official registration system for a person who goes through the immigration system. Until now, files can be stored in paper or electronic form. Well, according to the rule, these records can be kept on paper, electronically or by electronic paper combination.

And the information contained in A-Files includes the country of nationality, country of residence, US citizenship and online immigration account numbers, social media shots, aliases, identifiable information and research results.

It is unclear how the DHS plans to bring together social media management tools and people’s search results, although the rule states that it is considering “developing the data elements used to retrieve records”.

The new rule “states that the government intends to release social media information from people who have immigrated to this country, a huge group of people on files about what they say,” said Faiz Shakir, American National Policy Director of the Union of Civil Liberties, said Thursday in a statement. “This global collective approach is ineffective in protecting national security and is another example of the Trump government’s anti-immigration agenda.”

This is not the first time the government has swam with social media to test travelers and immigrants. In February, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly, now the White House Chief of Staff, announced that the agency was considering asking civil servants for their passwords in social networks. In June, the administration quietly introduced a new visa questionnaire, which requires all the functions of social media used in the last five years.

And of course, the agency says that it has already blocked the means of social media communication.

“The DHS has overseen publicly available social media in its application capabilities and immigration processes to protect the home,” said Joanne Talbot, spokesperson for the agency, Bloomberg on Wednesday.

“There is a growing trend in the Department of Homeland Security to sniff out the social media of immigrants and foreigners, and we believe it is an invasion of privacy and hinders freedom of expression,” Adam said Schwartz, lawyer for the Frontier Electronic Foundation. BuzzFeed.

The policy is part of a larger effort by the Trump government to break up illegal and legal immigration, including the announcement Wednesday that the United States would bring its refugee rates down to the lowest level.

Trump also supported his support last month behind a bill sponsored by Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), One of the stubborn legislators of immigration at the convention that would dramatically hit the number of people coming to the United States, By reducing the number of green cards granted and reducing the refugee program. The bill would give priority to English-speaking immigrants and put an end to the immigration lottery program.

Earlier this month, the president threatened to end the deferred action program for child care, which provided for two years of work permits and deportation for undocumented immigrants who were brought in the United States as an infant.

This is not the first time the government has swam with social media to test travelers and immigrants. In February, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly, now the White House Chief of Staff, announced that the agency was considering asking civil servants for their passwords in social networks. In June, the administration quietly introduced a new visa questionnaire, which requires all the functions of social media used in the last five years.