Visitors trying to enter the United States might want to pay closer attention to what they’re putting out into the world on Twitter, Facebook and elsewhere. A proposed change to the forms used by U.S. Customs and Border Protection will ask for details about travelers’ “online presence.”
Forms I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record) and I-94W (Nonimmigrant Visa Waiver Arrival/Departure Record) are used to document a traveler’s admission into the U.S. Information on citizenship, residency, passport, and contact information is collected to enable the Department of Homeland Security to screen alien visitors for potential risks to national security and the determination of admissibility to the country.
A proposal to revise those forms, as pointed out by The Verge, was submitted into the federal register on Thursday. Homeland Security said the new form question would be worded like so: “Please enter information associated with your online presence — Provider/Platform — Social media identifier.”
According to the proposal, “it will be an optional data field to request social media identifiers to be used for vetting purposes, as well as applicant contact information. Collecting social media data will enhance the existing investigative process and provide DHS greater clarity and visibility to possible nefarious activity and connections by providing an additional tool set which analysts and investigators may use to better analyze and investigate the case.”
The public has 60 days, or until Aug. 22, to submit written comments to the agency.