WASHINGTON - The Department of Homeland Security is planning to start collecting social media information on all immigrants, including permanent residents and naturalized citizens.
According to a BuzzFeed News report, the new rule is set to go into effect on October 18th. It would include social media handles and aliases.
"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," Adam Schwartz, an attorney with Electronic Frontier Foundation which advocates privacy and free expression, 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."
BuzzFeed says the new rule could also affect US citizens who communicate with immigrants on social media.