Stop DHS Collection of Immigrant Social Media Information
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has published a new rule under the Privacy Act of 1974 that will allow them to collect information about US immigrants' social media accounts and search histories when determining their immigration status. Because the rule applies to all US immigrants, it will affect not only new arrivals to the US but also green card holders and even naturalized citizens. Anyone who communicates with immigrants over social media would also be affected since government officials could review these conversations. The rule is scheduled to go into effect on October 18th, the same day that Trump's newly revised travel ban on immigration from eight countries goes live. As noted by Faiz Shakir, national political director for the ACLU, this new rule will "undoubtedly have a chilling effect on the free speech that's expressed every day on social media" and provide no national security benefit. Research on terrorism in the US has repeatedly shown that US-born white supremacists, not immigrants, represent the greatest threat to national security. Instead of violating the privacy of immigrants, many of whom are American citizens, the government should focus on combating white supremacist extremism among native-born Americans. "