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Foreign Travellers to Show Social Media Accounts while Entering the USA

October 2016, 26
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Foreign Travellers to Show Social Media Accounts while Entering the USA
According to the United States Department of Homeland Security (US DHS), the visitors from across the globe landing in the USA with a visa waiver will soon be required to provide the details of their social media accounts.

The plan was initially conceptualized in the month of June this year and is currently being cost assessed by the Office of Management and Budget. This initiative will enable the United States Customs and Border Protection (US CBP) to question the tourists arriving at the country from various foreign nations to mention the credentials of their social media accounts on the customs documents for facilitating the enhancement of the existing investigative system and clear the doubts that the DHS may have regarding their possible harmful deeds and contacts.

Under the visa-waiver program of the United States, the citizens of the several Western European nations, South Korea & Japan enter and stay in the country as a tourist for a maximum period of 90 days without having to apply for a visa.

According to the Federal Register “if the plan is approved after the Office of Management and Budget’s cost assessment, the foreign nationals travelling under the Electronic System for Travel Authorization and visa-waiver program under the Form I-94W would have an option to provide their social media credentials. 

As per a CBP spokesperson, “the social media collection program "may help detect potential threats because experience has shown that criminals and terrorists, whether intentionally or not, have provided previously unavailable information via social media that identified their true intentions. The collection of social media identifiers will not be used to prevent travel based on applicant's political views, race, or religion." 

The plan is expected to go in effect by end of the year, only if it is approved by the, Office of Management and Budget.

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