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US Customs Wants To Know Travelers' Social Media Account Names ( 397

Orome1 quotes a report from Help Net Security: The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency has submitted a request to the Office of Management and Budget, asking for permission to collect travelers social media account names as they enter the country. The CBP, which is part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, proposes that the request "Please enter information associated with your online presence -- Provider/Platform -- Social media identifier" be added to the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) and to the CBP Form I-94W (Nonimmigrant Visa Waiver Arrival/Departure). "It will be an optional field to request social media identifiers to be used for vetting purposes, as well as applicant contact information," the CBP noted. "Collecting social media data will enhance the existing investigative process and provide DHS greater clarity and visibility to possible nefarious activity and connections by providing an additional tool set which analysts and investigators may use to better analyze and investigate the case." The public and affected agencies are asked to comment on the request within 60 days of its publication. Commenters are asked to send their comments to this address.
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US Customs Wants To Know Travelers' Social Media Account Names

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  • by thundercattt ( 4205847 ) on Monday June 27, 2016 @11:31PM (#52403491)
    Especially when a Slashdot type person goes "don't have one, don't need one, don't want one". Then you end up in the little room as a suspicious person.
  • by EEPROMS ( 889169 ) on Monday June 27, 2016 @11:40PM (#52403537)
    As a foreigner who lives outside of china and USA it is far easier to travel around China now than the USA. Also the chances of getting shot at while taking in the views are next to zero in china compared to the USA.
    • by Harlequin80 ( 1671040 ) on Monday June 27, 2016 @11:51PM (#52403569)

      China is still more effort to get a visa for than the US, for Aussies anyway. But the airports, customs, border control & security theatre in the US is worse.

      I will definitely agree with you on the feeling safe part. China just feels safe.

      • It was easier for me to visit USSR back in the 80ies (as a GDR citizen, though). The trip had to be preplanned, but no difficulties otherwise. There were many young GDR guys who backpacked through the soviet union illegally, entering with a transit visum, but the soviets were pretty forgiving when they caught these.

    • That's true, but the chances of being able to "take in the views" in China and actually see something (other than smog) are next to zero as well.
    • by zedaroca ( 3630525 ) on Tuesday June 28, 2016 @12:53AM (#52403767)

      As a Brazilian, 100% agreed.
      Chinese visa -> pay a little, send document and passport by mail, get the visa the same way. No explaining, just a 3 month period when I was planning to go.
      American visa -> expensive visa. Fill forms on the Internet explaining my traveling plans (where, who's house, witch hotel), etc and book a date to take a photo and to do an interview. Had to travel to one of the cities with an embassy (1hr by plane), go to one of their photograph centers let them take a photo (for the FBI/NSA/DHS face recognition database, ie be treated like a criminal), then go to the embassy, get huge lines, do the whole security theater thing, do an interview, pay extra to get the visa by mail later.

      Besides the safety aspect, I'm not scared of bringing electronics in/out of China, they won't mess with your luggage. To the US, the only safe option is to discard anything that gets out of your sigh (remember hdd firmware virus), so you are limited to carry on.

    • by quenda ( 644621 )

      Also the chances of getting shot at while taking in the views are next to zero in china compared to the USA.

      Chances of getting shot in the US are similar to getting eaten by a shark in Australia. remote.
      You should be much more worried about getting killed on the road, especially in 3rd world countries, including China.

    • As a foreigner who lives outside of china and USA it is far easier to travel around China now than the USA.

      Except for Tibet. Try to go there sometime. Unless things have changed Tibet is currently closed to foreign visitors although that doesn't mean it won't ever open up to them again. If you have a visa to come to the USA there aren't any states that are closed to you as a tourist.

  • Meanwhile.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by matbury ( 3458347 ) on Monday June 27, 2016 @11:42PM (#52403543) Homepage

    ...extremists are busy creating new FB accounts and smothering them with cat pics and lolz.

    • I am not involved in anything dodgy, but I keep a set of very clean social media accounts just for purposes of job interview, security checks and because some people I really don't want to interact with and the best way to avoid them is just give them my "clean" social media identity which I almost never use. update them maybe once every few months.

      why do it? well I like to have open and honest discussions with friends as well as joke around and I want to do that without having to be concerned that someth
  • by mea2214 ( 935585 ) on Monday June 27, 2016 @11:47PM (#52403557)
    Any real terrorist cell with two brain cells to put together will have a well maintained perfectly clean set of social media accounts. All I see is a huge jobs program requiring more CPB "investigators" to vet all this bullshit.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      In fairness, there seem to be a lot of terrorists and other criminals who are not very intelligent.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      They are only interesting in catching the low hanging fruit, the idiots who post ISIS propaganda on their Facebook page before trying to enter the US. Throw in some students who post about how they are going to have a wild party and you have your quota for that month. Look, we made the border even worse than last month, see how vitally important we are to national security?!

    • That's not so easy to do well. We are not talking criminal masterminds here. They are rejects from the plow that value their own lives at null, and who are we to argue about that.

  • by RJFerret ( 1279530 ) on Monday June 27, 2016 @11:53PM (#52403577) Homepage

    On Fetlife I'm...

    On Literotica I'm...

    On MyFreeCams I'm...

    On Google+ I'm... (of course you aren't in my circle, but I do share publicly about once a week)

    On Twitter you won't see activity ever since Google+ came on the scene.

    On Youtube, oh wait, you didn't like the Fetlife stuff; you can't see the private stuff on Youtube anyway, been years since I posted a public video...

    Makes me wonder if anyone's kink is learning others' kinks?

  • And when I say I don't have any social media accounts, how long will it take for me to get out of the "suspicious person detention cage"?

    I have no facebook, no twitter, no instagram, no pinterest, no linkedin, no nothin'. I'm screwed.

    Guess it's time to make a bunch of accounts and fill them with pictures of adorable cats and cute puppy dogs.

    • Do what I did, create an account and make the only entry "This thing here exists because employers and other nosy assholes want to snoop into my life and I was afraid someone could create an account with my name, fill it with bullshit and some idiot could actually think it's me. No, there aren't going to be any updates. And fuck you for looking at this in the first place!"

      (text slightly altered for obvious reasons, doxing should at least take a little effort...)

  • No one needs to know all my associates and random online links.
    no one but a slave would answer that question.
    • by dbIII ( 701233 )

      no one but a slave would answer that question.

      Or someone intimidated by the guy with the gun. Or somebody about to miss a connecting flight. Or somebody who wants to get back in line so he can be back with his kids before the TSA gropes the kids as they have been known to do. Or ...

      The answer is not to be defiant and get put in a cage for refusing to act as if you are already in a cage - the answer is to stop these fuckers from abusing their overwhelming power in the first place. You chose to act like a

      • Re:Need to know? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by urdak ( 457938 ) on Tuesday June 28, 2016 @02:25AM (#52403987)

        The American Security Theater Administration (or whatever their real name is) already asks people going into the US idiotic questions - I've been asked for the address of my hotel, address and phone numbers of my relative in the US (why?), the address of the university I finished 20 years ago (why, you want to send them mail?), and a lot of other crap. Clearly, I could invent random responses and the interviewer would not know any better. I could also claim I didn't have or didn't know an answer. But do you know anybody who, after spending thousands of dollars on a vacation, would risk it all just to spite the security interviewer? So everybody (except the actual terrorists, of course) just tells these guys the truth. And hates the American culture just a little bit more :-(

        • I've been asked for the address of my hotel, address and phone numbers of my relative in the US (why?), the address of the university I finished 20 years ago (why, you want to send them mail?), and a lot of other crap...

          *I* get asked this kind of shit when entering, and I'm coming in on a US passport bearing a very Anglo-Saxon name and face (very obviously mine), and showing that I was born there. I get hassled less when I visit China. WTF?

  • What about dating sites? There's a LOT of info there. Take OKC for example - religion, actual sexual orientation, political leanings, etc. etc. etc.

    What the fuck?!!!!

  • by surfdaddy ( 930829 ) on Tuesday June 28, 2016 @12:11AM (#52403661)

    I mean, just pull us all into the back room and start the waterboarding already.

  • *Sigh* (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DivineKnight ( 3763507 ) on Tuesday June 28, 2016 @12:16AM (#52403673)

    They don't learn, do they? L'il Bobby Tables & friends it is then. They're probably running some version of Oracle on the backend, so keep that in mind while you are registering your new completely legitimate social media account names expressly for this use.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    My online presence is Anonymous Coward. You will notice from my history, that I have nothing to hide. In fact, you may not even see my posts, unless you click load all comments 1000 times.

  • If you don't have one, they won't believe you and you are suspicious...?

    So - where is the personal freedom the US-folks are so proud of?

    I think this goes along religious freedom - do you have to tell anyone what "religion", you belong to or none if you are agnostic?

    Do you have to tell anyone what political party or flavor you belong to, find good?

    On the same level believe in what's happening in Soc. Media or the purpose of it being beneficial or not.
    - what books you read, like, find good or despise..

    Mind co

  • Same Same Thailand (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jmd ( 14060 ) on Tuesday June 28, 2016 @12:42AM (#52403751)

    Thai Immigration is beginning to request the same information of foreigners entering or staying in the country. Thailand is under military junta at the moment.

    I am living in Thailand on a Non - Immigrant retirement visa and had thought I might leave, in part, due to this invasion of privacy. But I see the US junta has the same aspirations.

  • by EzInKy ( 115248 ) on Tuesday June 28, 2016 @01:32AM (#52403879)

    If you care little enough about privacy to be on "social media" why would you care?

  • Do you want to know mine or the ones I use? When you're in IT security, you get so many credentials to use...

  • And what's next? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by treczoks ( 64329 ) on Tuesday June 28, 2016 @02:33AM (#52404001)

    And in the next iteration, account names will be mandatory, together with the passwords for them (verified on the spot by your friendly customs people) and the PINs for your banking cards?

    The PSA (Paranoid States of America) still shit their pants because of one terrorist incident a decade ago, while local yokels with guns (including the police) kill ten times that much people per year.

  • by johanw ( 1001493 ) on Tuesday June 28, 2016 @03:06AM (#52404073)

    I like Wikileaks on Facebook, they'll never let me in.

  • by Ihlosi ( 895663 ) on Tuesday June 28, 2016 @03:12AM (#52404097)
    Looks like they just want to make it official.
  • It's "Commander Taco".

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Tuesday June 28, 2016 @07:12AM (#52404625) Journal
    Google created google+ accounts for every gmail user. People laughed at its pathetic attempt to ape facebook. Now who's laughing? Google was actually doing all gmail users a favor. There will be an useless google+ account that no one bothers to look at, but will qualify as the social media account for the purpose of filling out some damned form to TSA!
  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Tuesday June 28, 2016 @07:25AM (#52404673) Homepage

    I'm known as "EatShitTSA" on most social networks....

  • Will this be in addition to the gang anal probing?
  • Modern Day Shakedown.

    Even as a US Citizen it is fucking absurd. I had one flight into Boston that took longer to get through immigration that flight itself - AS A US CITIZEN!

    My wife never wants to come back. I don't blame her. It's a straight up humiliating process.

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell