DHS Will Be Spying On Immigrants’ Social Media Profiles

Immigrants in the United States who think they are entitled to privacy might want to think again – that’s not going to be happening under the Trump administration’s watch! Starting next month, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plans to conduct extensive surveillance on the social media accounts of immigrants.

Immigrants of all kinds will be affected by this new policy – even naturalized citizens and permanent residents will be subject to this digital scrutiny. Basically, the government will be keeping tabs on the Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. accounts, presumably for the “protection” of native-born Americans.

Sign the petition: Tell DHS not to spy on American immigrants

The internet scrutiny won’t be limited to social media platforms either. Beyond that, DHS plans to also keep tabs on immigrants’ internet search history, which means non-native citizens might want to think twice about what they type into Google.

You don’t have to be an immigrant to be concerned about this program. Inevitably, it’s not only immigrants that will have their privacy violated – American citizens who communicate with immigrants will have their messages inspected, too.

Although DHS has not revealed specifically how it intends to collect immigrants’ social media information, Gizmodo does highlight a section of DHS’s announcement that says it will cull from “information obtained and disclosed pursuant to information sharing agreements.”

In other words, those user agreements you typically scroll through quickly and then click “accept” allowing social media platforms to keep tabs on your personal data could now be the key to government accessing this information, as well. It’s looking increasingly unwise to willingly trust either corporations or the government with these personal details and thoughts.

Earlier this year, some foreign visitors to America had to unlock their phones and reveal their social media passwords to TSA agents for scrutiny. Apparently, the government thought this invasiveness was a worthwhile enough event to inflict on long-term residents of the country, too.

Presumably, the desire to conduct social media searches stems from the White House’s overriding attitude that people not born in the United States – even those who have lived here for decades with a green card – are not to be trusted. While this policy could very well catch a few immigrants who are up to no good and bragging about it on Facebook, it’s hard to imagine that it would be any less effective at finding dangerous native citizens if they were the target of this surveillance.

Then again, maybe this program is a way of getting Americans re-comfortable with the idea of the government monitoring our online presence. It’s been years since Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks put mass surveillance in the national discourse, and if the DHS could prove it was “necessary” to prevent something, they’d gradually be able to expand the policy to impact all citizens.

The policy is set to go into effect on October 18, following a period of public comment. That means we have a small window to let our government know that we do not approve of Trump officials prying into the private lives of our long-term immigrants – many of whom have become citizens through a naturalization process.

If you agree that there is no need for the DHS to be so divisive and intrusive, please sign this petition.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

36 comments

Aldana W
Aldana W2 months ago

thanks

SEND
Philippa P
Philippa Powers2 months ago

Thanks.

SEND
Winn Adams
Winn A2 months ago

Disgusting

SEND
David F
David F2 months ago

Liberal pukes have such a short memory and or they don't give a ship about the lives of others.
A 60 second check of Facebook would have saved 14 people killed and 22 others seriously injured in a terrorist attack in San Bernardino shooting December 2, 2015,

SEND
Toni W
Toni W2 months ago

TYFS

SEND
Toni W
Toni W2 months ago

TYFS

SEND
Donn M
Donn M2 months ago

Real immigrants, or illegals?

SEND
Philippa Powers
Philippa Powers2 months ago

Horrible!

SEND
Peggy B
Peggy B2 months ago

Disgusting

SEND
Cruel Justice
Cruel Justice2 months ago

It's a shame we can't use this platform to identify Trump supporters so we could send them to Puerto Rico and let them see for themselves how awful he is for not helping other Americans.

SEND