Never reveal your social media passwords to Trump Administration

As the new US Visa policies roll in from this month, the Trump Administration is planning to put some foreign applicants through a stringent screening test which can be referred as a ‘privacy invasion’.

And as a part of this policy, the US State Department wants to review all social media activities, email addresses and phone numbers of those seeking US Visas and prospective green card holders from now on.

Although this policy applies to a certain religion of applicants, for now, it can also be extended to others by this year end.

In the latest notification published in the Federal Register, the government has requested the public to comment on this issue.

However, sources reporting to our Cybersecurity Insiders say that a temporary go-ahead has been acquired from the White House on this issue and it will come into effect on May 18th, 2017, regardless of the public comments.

As of now, the proposed requirements will be applied to visa applicants identified for extra scrutiny based on the country from which they are traveling. It has to be notified over here that those traveling to and from areas controlled by terrorist organizations will have to go through this scrutiny as a mandatory practice. For others, this rule might not be applicable for now.

All affected applicants would have to provide their social media handles and platforms used from the past 5 years and divulge all phone numbers and email addresses used during that period.

Note- US Consular Officials would not seek the passwords of the respective social media accounts as it is a clear invasion of privacy. And applicants are requested to keep this law in mind before handing over sensitive info to the visa officials.

And what will the government do with the provided info?

Obviously, the US Visa authorities will forward these details to relevant authorities who will then analyze your social media activities and communication methods and mediums for any kind of discrepancy.

Here, discrepancy means posting hate content against a country, leader, religion, color and others on social media and this includes posting blasphemy content as well. Also communicating with any terror groups or anti-social elements can put you into deep trouble.

Since last year, immigration officials have asked social media info of some foreigners entering the US from certain checkpoints. But the new trump government wants to make this practice as a mandatory on all US border checkpoints from now.

In near future, the new trump administration might also ask visa applicants to provide 15 years of travel and work history and names and date of births of siblings, children and current or former spouses.

Note- Applicants may not be denied a visa if they fail to provide the said info, provided they give credible explanations related to the proceedings.

Alert- Security experts reviewing this issue suggest that the applicants should be extra cautious while divulging their personal details. They discourage disclosing of personal details by visa applicants to third parties like consultancy firm.

And the authorities added that visa applicants should only provide the details when asked to concerned authorities and should never reveal the passwords to their respective social media or email accounts.

Comment from Cybersecurity Insiders- If US CIA can digitally intercept any individual or group residing on a global note ( as per Wikileaks Vault 7); is it not impossible for the officials to find your social media or email password…?

Just think about it and share your mind through the comments section below.

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Naveen Goud
Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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