The Trump regime wants the social media identities of every immigrant in America on file to keep an eye on them in real time, and this apparently includes naturalized citizens and permanent residents.
Federal officials are planning to collect social media information on all immigrants, including permanent residents and naturalized citizens, a move that has alarmed lawyers and privacy groups worried about how the information will be used.
The Department of Homeland Security published the new rule in the Federal Register last week, saying it wants to include "social media handles, aliases, associated identifiable information, and search results" as part of people's immigration file. The new requirement takes effect Oct. 18.
DHS and US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Adam Schwartz, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which advocates for privacy and free expression, said the plan was disturbing.
"We see this as part of a larger process of high tech surveillance of immigrants and more and more people being subjected to social media screening," Schwartz told BuzzFeed News. "There's a growing trend at the Department of Homeland Security to be snooping on the social media of immigrants and foreigners and we think it's an invasion of privacy and deters freedom of speech."
This would also affect all US citizens who communicate with immigrants, Schwartz said, who could self censor out of fear that information they exchange with someone overseas could be misconstrued and used against them.
Of course these social media accounts will be flagged for permanent Trump regime surveillance, there's no other reason for DHS or Immigration Services to have this information. It ridiculous enough that foreigners and immigrants to the US would need to surrender this info, but for naturalized US citizens to do it is crazy.
If that's found to be constitutional, there's no reason not to require this from every American. It's insane and ripe for abuse by both government and corporate actors, not to mention law enforcement and hey, hackers.
But this is where we are now, as we get a little more authoritarian and a little more fascist every day.