The United States of America has proposed that visitors entering the country reveal their online presence; or more specifically, their social media accounts. The proposal was brought forward by the US Customs and Border Patrol, which is in charge of overseeing the millions of visitors who enter the US every year.
Only those attempting to enter the US under the Visa Waiver Programme will be affected by this new check; or rather, those who choose to reveal their online presence will be. The proposal only recommends adding an extra field on the entry form that visitors filled out when entering the country. It will not be a required field, but that may raise some flags with the border agents.
While the proposed changes are not yet in effect, they may affect Malaysians in the near future. Visa-free entry into the US has been in the works for us for a couple of years, with the government promising that it will go into force in the near future. This visa-free entry would be just the kind that would be covered by the new regulations.
The US has been expanding the amount of information visitors are to disclose when entering the country. This includes details about which countries they have visited since 2011 and if they hold alternative passports.
That being said, it sounds odd that visitors would be asked about their social media accounts. On one hand, it provides a quick insight into the person’s ideology and personality; but on the other hand it may sound odd to discover a friend request from the US immigration department.