People who wish to live the American dream may soon need to share their social media details. According to a state department filing on Friday, the federal government is proposing to collect social media identities from people who are seeking entry into the US.
Apart from social media handles, the Trump administration wants all US visa applicants to submit previous mobile numbers, email IDs, and details of their previous travel histories.
Under the proposed norms both the immigrant and non-immigrant visa applicants have to disclose all social media profiles they used in the past five years.
Citizens from countries like UK, Canada, France, Germany, Australia, and Japan which have the visa-free travel status would not be affected by the new requirement. However, people from countries like India, China, Brazil and Mexico who apply to visit the United States for work, business or a holiday purpose could be facing difficulties with the proposed move.
The proposal covers social media platforms like Facebook, Flickr, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Myspace, Pinterest, Reddit, Tumblr, Twitter, Vine, and YouTube.
The new proposal will not take effect immediately, it needs to be approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The public can comment on the proposed new requirements and it set off a 60-day period for public comment, which ends on May 29.
The American Civil Liberties Union reportedly expressed concern over the move, as an effect on freedom of speech and association. "People will now have to wonder if what they say online will be misconstrued or misunderstood by a government official," Reuters quotes Hina Shamsi, director ACLU's National Security Project as saying.
"We're also concerned about how the Trump administration defines the vague and over-broad term 'terrorist activities' because it is inherently political and can be used to discriminate against immigrants who have done nothing wrong," she said.
"There is a real risk that social media vetting will unfairly target immigrants and travelers from Muslim-majority countries for discriminatory visa denials, without doing anything to protect national security", she added.