Economy

Feds Plan to Collect Social Media Info of Immigrants

Feds Plan to Collect Social Media Info of Immigrants”

Starting on October 18, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plans to collect social and internet search data on US immigrants, including naturalized citizens and those with a green card.

The new policy includes 12 points of expansion on what DHS is allowed to collect, but numbers 5 and 11 seem to be the most alarming in their ability to reach inside the digital lives of immigrants to the United States and anyone who interacts with those immigrants.

According to BuzzFeed, the new rule could also affect USA citizens who communicate with immigrants on social media by making their conversations the subject of government surveillance. "We see this as part of a larger process of high tech surveillance of immigrants and more and more people being subjected to social media screening". It's not immediately clear if that means the agency will have access to things such as Google search histories nor is it clear how that would be obtained.

Critics of the policy are anxious that it will infringe on privacy and free speech, especially since this policy could mean anyone who interacts with an immigrant will make their social media subject to surveillance.

The DHS's rules change notice is open for public comment for three more weeks. The National Security Agency, for example, is overwhelmed with the data it collects on American citizens. Experts say there's little to no evidence social media can be used to determine if someone presents an actual threat. "Folks might share a post on social media that seems ripe for government officials to use as the hook for a conversation that starts to resemble an ideological purity test", one professor tells BuzzFeed.



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