Getting into the US may soon require a lot more hassle than people expect. The US State Department has proposed a change to the visa application system that will require applicants to provide their social media handles used over the last five years, as well as telephone numbers and home addresses used during that time.
The US already requires selected individuals to turn over the social media handles for vetting; largely those who had previously travelled to regions with known terrorist activity. This is proposal would alter the rule and cover some 15 million people looking to enter the US each year.
That said, it wouldn’t cover all social media sites being used. Instead, the regulations are being limited to a number of platforms identified by the US government.
Civil rights activists are unlikely to be happy about this change in policy, considering that the existing rule has already drawn a lot of flak. The belief is that there is an unnecessary level of scrutiny of visa applications, seeing that the US government will be attempting to peer into the private lives of individuals.
Of course, this is still at the proposal stage; and citizens of the US have 60 days to comment on the matter. Which probably won’t matter much, since the last change to social media checks was pushed through despite public resistance.