New regulation requires visitors to the U.S. to provide information about social media use
Uncle Sam wants to know what foreign tourists are saying on social media. On Friday, the U.S. Department of State announced a new rule requiring most foreigners entering the U.S. to provide data about their social media accounts as well as other personal information. The requirement will affect an estimated 14.7 million people a year.
The new requirement will go into effect in 60 days.
Once in force, the rule will require those applying for tourist visas to provide the names of all social media platforms they have participated on in the last five years, as well as user names, email accounts and phone numbers. A new government office will be established to monitor the requirement and conduct background checks.
According to the State Department, the new rule is based on an order issued by U.S. President Donald Trump in March 2017 intended to block entry into the U.S. of those who pose a terrorist threat.