US Customs Could Want Your Twitter Handle When You Enter The US

The next time that you go to the US, you may have to hand over your Twitter handle as well as your passport if US Customs & Border Protection gets their way. A proposal to ask people to provide details of their social media accounts, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or whatever else, before entering the United States. This of course is causing people to freak out. A coalition of 28 groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, Center for Democracy & Technology, Consumer Federation of America, and Electronic Frontier Foundation, has sent a joint letter on the last day of the Department of Homeland Security’s public comment period to say that the proposal is a #fail on the grounds that this is beyond invasive and should be scrapped. Now DHS argues that this is required because they would be able to spot those who would do harm to the US because of what is in their social media accounts.

I have to ask the question. Is a terrorist really going to tip their hand on Twitter that they’re going to do something in the US? Is something like that really easy to find via an algorithm or with a bunch of humans scanning various social media sites? Plus keep in mind that Twitter for example has been actively suspending the accounts of people they consider to be terrorists. So I have to wonder how effective this will be. Maybe DHS has some master plan that would make this effective? I don’t know. What I do know is that on the surface, this doesn’t seem to be a great idea, or a great use of taxpayer money. But in the interest of being able to enter the US, you might want to keep your social media accounts as clean as possible.


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