US wants social media details from all visa applicants

The proposal seeks social media "identifiers" from nearly 15 million immigrant and nonimmigrant visa applicants.

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The State Department wants to require all US visa applicants to submit information about their social media histories to the US government.

The proposal would require nearly 15 million immigrant and nonimmigrant visa applicants to provide "identifiers" for multiple social media platforms they used during the previous five years. Applicants would also be required to provide their previous email addresses and phone numbers.

The proposal, disclosed in documents set to be published in the Federal Register on Friday (PDFs here and here), expands the Trump administration's plan to evaluate threats and benefits associated with potential immigrants and visitors. With the proposal's publishing, the department will begin a 60-day period for the public to comment on the plan.

The department estimates the plan would affect 710,000 immigrant visa applicants and 14 million nonimmigrant visa applicants, according to the documents.

Applicants would also be asked whether they've been deported or removed from another country and whether family members have been involved in terrorist activities.

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