Visitors to the US will now have to provide their social media information when they arrive at immigration. This only applies to those entering the country under the visa waiver program, but has triggered fears that other countries will begin implementing the same requirements.
Providing this social media information is currently optional, but it is unknown what will happen in the event that someone refuses. This is because the goal of the exercise is to help immigration agents spot potential threats to national security. That being said, the move has been widely criticised since it was proposed last year.
Opponents of the information request believe that it is an invasion of privacy, and posed a security risk to foreigners. As such, there are no guidelines or rules in place for how to use this information; nor is there any guidance on how it will be shared with other government agencies.
The social media request currently only affects the 38 countries who are part of the visa waiver programme, although there are other nations currently in negotiations to join it (Malaysia being one of them). Other countries are already subject to security and background checks before they receive a visa to enter the US.