State Dept. Wants to Collect Social Media Info for All Visa Applicants

The Department of State wants to collect social media details from all visa applicants.

The agency published two notices in the Federal Register stating that it wants to collect social media details, previous email addresses and phone numbers from all U.S. visa applicants, inviting the public to comment on the plans. In the past, these details have only been sought from applicants that have already been earmarked for extra scrutiny.

The new rules would affect more than 14 million applicants in total. If approved, applicants would have to provide a list of all previous usernames used on social media platforms over the past five years. Applicants will also be asked to provide a five-year history of telephone numbers, email addresses and travel and deportation status.

Only diplomatic and official visas are likely to be exempted from requirements.

The 60-day comment period will start from Friday so that members of the public can give feedback on the new plans.

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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