Yesterday, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told Congress the Trump administration may soon require that visitors to the United States provide their social media passwords and internet activity history to DHS agents before entering the country.
In response to a question from Congressman Higgins about what DHS will do to make sure visa applicants don’t mean harm to the United States, Kelly said:
[I]f they come in…we want to say for instance, ‘What sites do you visit? And give us your passwords.’It appears as if Secretary Kelly was talking about demanding social media passwords and internet history records during the visa application process, but there are reasons to fear the Trump administration could extend these surveillance demands to other groups—even US citizens and legal permanent residents.
So that we can see what they do on the internet. And this might be a week, might be a month. They may wait some time for us to vet. If they don’t want to give us that information then they don’t come. We may look at their—we want to get on their social media with passwords. What do you do? What do you say? If they don’t want to cooperate, then they don’t come in.
There’s other things like that. So these are the things we’re thinking about. No one should take this as this is what we’re going to do right now. But over there, we can ask them for this kind of information. And if they truly want to come to America they’ll cooperate. If not, you know, next in line.