Visitors to the United States (US) are now required to give out their social media handles to the government.
According to the New York Times, visitors applying for entry into the country under the Non-immigrant Visa – for those entering the US for a short period of time and intend to leave the country afterwards – are now required to declare their social media “presence”.
Under this new adopted rule, visa applicants; namely tourist, students and those going to the America on business would have to submit their social media information going back up to 5 years in order to be “screened” by the US Government.
The US State Department was quoted as saying that the implementation of this “screening and vetting” procedure would be part the nations baseline mechanism for nations security.
The online DS-160 visa application form now includes a section where applicants would need to fill out their social media account information, which includes a drop-down menu to add on multiple accounts (like most people living in the 21st century are bound to have).
The form would only need applicants to fill out their username and handles for each social media platform that they are using. (no need to give out passwords OK guys)
“But what if I’m not on social media?” you ask…
Well applicants would have the option to state that they do not have a social media account.
However if you were to get caught lying, the US Government warned that it would result in serious “consequences”.