CBP Proposes Submission of Social Media Account Passwords for Foreign Visitors Traveling to the US

A proposal to collect social media passwords from foreign nationals planning to enter the US was announced last week by the CBP as an extra security precaution that could help “screen out” individuals who may be posting threats to the country on social media. The alarming frequency of terrorist attacks and threatening incidents in the US has sparked public outcry and prompted the CBP to consider taking drastic measures for the sake of everyone’s safety.

The CPB has requested government approval on the mandatory collection of passwords from social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter by adding a special section on the ESTA form I-94 W, for those entering the US on the visa waiver program. If the policy is implemented, visitors will be required to fully disclose all of their social media account details while filling out the entry form and applying for an ESTA Visa.

While some may view the proposal as a violation of personal privacy, CBP officials believe that mandatory screening is a necessary precaution in keeping the country and its people safe. As of now, disclosure of this information is not yet required but CBP is working closely with the US government in deciding whether or not this policy should be implemented.

The DHS proposal is open for public comment until August 22, 2016 for those who would like to voice their opinions and share their views on the matter.