Following the shooting in San Bernardino, California, the Department of Homeland Security is looking for ways to increase the control of social media accounts used by applicants for US visa. Social media services like Facebook and Twitter have been praised for providing a voice for the average person and the promotion of freedom of expression worldwide. However, services have also been used to organize terrorist activity and has recently been the source of evidence for many recent attacks moving from Paris to California.
The Wall Street Journal reported Monday, DHS is studying the development of a plan that social networking messages sweep through a range of different services to try to identify potential threats posed by visa applicants and other would-be immigrants . While the department established a pilot program to achieve this goal earlier this year, none of the initial programs have been very effective. A new plan would cover previous efforts and give a realistic toward large-scale integration step.
While Homeland Security officials are quick to implement a system of this type, which have had no problem espionage in discussions of social media of ordinary citizens. Monday Daily Caller reported, DHS actually has a policy in place that prevented agents Homeland Security to veto the social accounts of visa applicants. He had a policy of vetting of visa applicants to force San Bernardino handles Farook and Tashfeen Syed Rizwan Malik could have been identified and stopped before the horrible crime took place. Malik came to the United States through a K-1 visa, which is issued to the promised US citizens.
Although the DHS was willing to pry into the business of real citizens, for some inexplicable reason, they realized that they should not apply the same scrutiny to applicants for foreign visas. Go figure.
As the national conversation has become dominated by threats both homegrown and foreign terrorism, it is likely that visa applications will be even harder to get, especially if you are not careful of what you’re saying online. That, however, is the reality of the world we live in today.
DHS has not announced any concrete details of a plan to control social networking accounts of visa applicants, but it will be interesting to see what kind of effort they put forth.