The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has submitted a request asking for approval to ask travelers entering the US to provide details about their social media nicknames.
The CBP argues that they could use social media accounts to vet foreigners entering the country much easier, based on their online activities.
was submitted to the US Federal Register on June 20, and the CBP is seeking budgetary and procedural approval.
Social media fields will be optional
CBP officials plan to add a new field called “Please enter information associated with your online presence – Provider/Platform – Social media identifier” to the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) and to the CBP Form I-94W (Nonimmigrant Visa Waiver Arrival/Departure).
The good news is that this field won’t be mandatory, but when’s the last time you ever saw a government form that included the “optional” mark next to a field.
There are countless of ways this proposal could go wrong and until August 22, users still have a chance to convince the government to give up on its foolish idea.
Because all terrorists share their evil plans on Twitter or Facebook
of Sophos Labs has provided the best commentary on this proposal: “Obtaining social media information on those travelling will also help it to investigate them better, the CBP said (irony alert: because of course “nefarious” people share their cunning plans on social media and want to make sure DHS can find out all about them).”
Nobody is foolish enough to think terrorists will give out their Twitter or Facebook profiles when entering the US, so the DHS could see how many beheading videos they have shared or liked.
The proposal seems more like a way to officially link real identities to social media profiles that the US government is hiding under the lame excuse of “vetting” foreigners.