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Homeland Security Might Start Asking US Visitors for Their Social Media Passwords

Homeland Security secretary John Kelly reportedly floated the idea to Congress Tuesday, suggesting foreign travelers disclose their login information or be denied entry.
February 8, 2017, 6:26pm
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Homeland Security secretary John Kelly proposed some heavy new security measures for international visitors during his Tuesday meeting with Congress, suggesting travelers fork over their social media passwords so the government can take a look before letting them into the country.

The idea comes amid the Trump administration's push for a more extreme vetting process for immigrants, specifically those from the seven Muslim-majority countries that the president targeted with his recent travel ban. According to NBC, the security measure isn't set in stone yet, but just one of a few the Homeland Security Department is considering.

"We want to get on their social media, with passwords: What do you do, what do you say?" Kelly reportedly told the House Homeland Security Committee on Tuesday. "If they don't want to cooperate, then you don't come in."

Kelly also floated the idea of gaining access to potential visitors' financial information, to better lurk on them before deciding if they should be allowed in the country. "It applies under certain circumstances," he said, "to individuals who may be involved in on the payroll of terrorist organizations."

This isn't the first time border agents have wanted access to people's Facebook accounts, but the act of requiring individuals to hand over their passwords is some next level shit. Doesn't Kelly realize you can learn a lot about a person just from checking out their profile picture?