US visa applicants could be asked to submit their social media passwords – John Kelly

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Photo: EJ Hersom / DoD

People from Muslim-majority countries may have to give details of accounts such as Facebook or be barred from entering.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly has said that US visa applicants could be asked for passwords to their social media accounts by US embassies.

According to John Kelly, the move will act as an extra security layer and could come as part of an effort to toughen the vetting of visitors to screen out people who may pose a security threat.

Mr Kelly also revealed that the social media account details was one of the steps the US government is considering using especially for visitors from the seven Muslim-majority countries. (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen) which he said has very weak background screening of their own.

It can be recalled that the President Trump recently signed an executive order banning Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the US for 90 days.

Mr Kelly made all these known at a hearing of the Homeland Security Committee where further outlined some key points:

“We’re looking at some enhanced or some additional screening.

“We may want to get on their social media, with passwords.

“It’s very hard to truly vet these people in these countries, the seven countries. But if they come in, we want to say, what websites do they visit, and give us your passwords. So we can see what they do on the internet.”

He said anyone who refused to cooperate would not be allowed into the United States.

He stressed that no decision had been made, but tighter screening would be implemented, even if it means longer delays for awarding US visas to visitors.

“These are the things we are thinking about. But over there we can ask them for this kind of information and if they truly want to come to America, then they will cooperate. If not, next in line, he added.”

Source: Sky News

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