This entry was posted on July 14, 2016.
Whoever has been in the United States for vacation knows just how difficult it is to enter their borders. You have to answer endless questions, such as if you have a spreadable sickness, a criminal background and of course any terrorist intentions. Could social networks be another way to analyze these problems?
Going forward, the Department of Homeland Security want to inspect social networks of incoming tourists. By doing so, they’d have a better idea of just who these people are and if they have any other purpose of visiting the US aside from sightseeing. The idea is that a tourist can provide one social network, whether it’s a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Tinder account. This option is, however, optional!
These changes are being opened for discussion over the next 60 days!
Experts are critical that the inspection of social networks is an invasion of privacy. The Department of Homeland Security has however justified that it’s not compulsory to do and that this information can be voluntarily provided. Nonetheless, it’s very plausible that doing so would result in a rather negative experience when travelling into the US. Additionally, it’s quite obvious that any terrorists or criminals that know of this rule and intend on travelling to the US would avoid any serious or obvious Facebook activity for a long time. As a result, it’s hard to say just how effective something like this would be in the long term.
However should these tourists agree to these social network terms, it probably won’t cause any problems for them. A computer algorithm will scan the account and see if the account is dangerous or not. Of course there’ll be mistakes once in a while, but they should be responsibly sorted through. Additionally, it’s highly unlikely that the authorities would have the time to analyze your account over the past 4 years for the smallest details, just to criminalize you!
Even today, social media posts could result in a refusal of entry into the United States, in the event that these posts are reported. In 2012, a British tourist was denied entry into the US because he wrote on Twitter that he wanted to “destroy America” and that he was going to dig up Marilyn Monroe’s grave. Authorities probably didn’t care if he only wanted to party in a New York night club, as he posted a verbal threat to the United States’ integrity.
The United States have increased security for tourists every year since 9/11. If social networks are to come into play as a way to inspect incoming foreigners, then that could increase the difficulty of planning trips to the US. It’s hard to say if the country’s safety will change at all, as terrorists or criminals can always just give a fake social media profile and move on.