US Now Requiring Visa Applicants to Provide Social Media Details
The United States is now requiring nearly all visa seekers to provide personal details about their social media activities.
In addition, those requesting U.S. visas will be asked to give past email addresses and phone numbers. The new requirements are expected to affect about 15 million foreigners who seek U.S. visas each year, the Associated Press reported.
The Trump administration first proposed the changes in March 2018. The policy is part of the U.S. government's expanded "extreme vetting" process for all immigrants and visitors. The only applicants not covered under the new rules are those seeking diplomatic or official visas.
The U.S. State Department confirmed to the AP last week that it had changed its immigrant and nonimmigrant visa forms to require the additional information. The forms seek five years' worth of social media user names, telephone numbers, international travel activities and deportation history. Visa seekers are also asked whether any family members have been involved in terrorist activities.
The State Department said in a statement the new requirements are aimed at improving the vetting process to protect national security.
A department official told the online publication The Hill that social media services have been used in recent years as a tool to fuel "terrorist sentiment and activity." The official said the new requirements can be a valuable tool "to screen out terrorists, public safety threats, and other dangerous individuals from gaining immigration benefits and setting foot on U.S. soil."
In the past, social media, email and phone number histories had only been sought from people who had been identified for further examination. This group of an estimated 65,000 visa seekers included people who had traveled to areas controlled by groups listed as terrorist.
Visa seekers will be asked to provide details about U.S.-based social media services like Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube. In addition, they will be asked to provide details about involvement in major international internet services like China's Douban, Tencent QQ and Sina Weibo.
Visa seekers can choose to say they have no social media accounts. However, the State Department has warned that lying about social media activities would have serious immigration results for visa seekers, The Hill reported.
The American Civil Liberties Union, or ACLU, and several privacy rights groups voiced opposition to the new requirements when they were first proposed last year. At the time, the ACLU warned the move would have a "chilling" effect on freedom of speech.
"People will now have to wonder if what they say online will be misconstrued or misunderstood by a government official," said Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU's National Security Project. "There is also no evidence that such social media monitoring is effective or fair," he added.
I'm Bryan Lynn.
1.screen out 筛选出
The company screened out applicants motivated only by money.
2.In addition 另外
You need money and time; in addition, you need diligence.
3.be aimed at 旨在
These remarks are not aimed at you.
4.social media 社交媒体
We have all witnessed the power of social media.
5.At the time, the ACLU warned the move would have a "chilling" effect on freedom of speech.
At the time 那时候
I was just in grade school at the time, but I remember it perfectly.
She was taking uppers and downers at the time.
6.In the past, social media, email and phone number histories had only been sought from people who had been identified for further examination.
In the past 过去
We did an analysis of the way that government money has been spent in the past.
My children have wounded me in the past.
此外，申请美国签证的人士将被要求提供以往的电子邮件地址和电话号码 。据美联社报道，这项新规定预计将影响每年约1500万申请美国签证的外籍人士 。
2018年3月，特朗普政府首次提出了这项改革 。该政策是美国政府扩大对所有移民和游客“极端审查”程序的一部分 。新规定中唯一例外的是申请外交或公务签证的人士 。
上周，美国国务院向美联社证实称，已修改其移民和非移民签证表格，要求对方提供更多信息 。表格要求提供5年内的社交媒体账号、电话号码、国际旅行活动和驱逐记录 。签证申请者还将被问及是否有家庭成员参与过恐怖活动 。
美国国务院一官员告诉在线刊物《国会山》表示，近年来，社交媒体一直被用于助长“恐怖主义情绪和活动”的工具 。该官员表示，新规能够成为重要工具，用来“甄别恐怖分子、公共安全威胁和其它危险人士获得移民福利并入境美国” 。
此前，只有那些被认定需进一步接受审查的人士才会提供以往社交媒体、电子邮件和电话号码记录 。这一群体估计达到6.5万人，其中包括曾前往被列为恐怖组织控制地区的人士 。
签证申请者将被要求提供有关美国社交媒体服务，如Facebook，Google+，Instagram，LinkedIn，Twitter和YouTube的详细信息 。此外，他们还被要求提供参与中国的豆瓣网站、腾讯QQ和新浪微博等主要国际互联网服务的详细信息 。
签证申请者可声称没有社交媒体账户 。《国会山》报道指出，然而，美国国务院警告称，在社交媒体活动上撒谎将对签证申请者造成严重的移民后果 。
美国公民自由联盟（ACLU）等几家隐私权组织在去年该新规首次提出时曾表示反对 。当时，美国公民自由联盟警告称，此举将会对言论自由产生“寒蝉效应” 。
美国公民自由联盟国家安全项目主任希娜·沙母西（Hina Shamsi）表示：“人们现在不得不怀疑他们在网上的言论会不会被政府官员误解，也没有任何证据表明此类社交媒体监控是公平或有效的 。”