Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 22nd Jun 2017 22:46 UTC
Legal

The Trump administration has rolled out a new questionnaire for U.S. visa applicants worldwide that asks for social media handles for the last five years and biographical information going back 15 years.

[...]

Under the new procedures, consular officials can request all prior passport numbers, five years' worth of social media handles, email addresses and phone numbers and 15 years of biographical information including addresses, employment and travel history.

[...]

While the new questions are voluntary, the form says failure to provide the information may delay or prevent the processing of an individual visa application.

This surely won't affect the countless incredibly smart scientists and engineers wanting to work in the US and contribute to the US economy.

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Initiated by Obama?
by bugjacobs on Fri 23rd Jun 2017 04:23 UTC
bugjacobs
Member since:
2009-01-03

I dont think this started with Trump, I heard about it before he took office..

Reply Score: 2

RE: Initiated by Obama?
by Kochise on Fri 23rd Jun 2017 04:51 UTC in reply to "Initiated by Obama?"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Yeah, eDrones scrutinizing the web and listening to public, and more private conversations, that pretty much looks like an Obama legacy. While this guy looked elegant and smart, at least smarter than W and his false anthrax, he must have the higher rank of kill during his presidency (beside civil war).

And yeah, this comment alone could prevent me from going to the USA. But free speech, democracy, wada wada, you know...

Edited 2017-06-23 04:51 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Comment by CATs
by CATs on Fri 23rd Jun 2017 07:01 UTC
CATs
Member since:
2017-06-09

When exactly did USA start assuming everyone has a social media profile?
Good thing I live in Europe, so there's no point for me to ever go to USA.

Reply Score: 3

Extreme vetting
by avgalen on Fri 23rd Jun 2017 07:49 UTC
avgalen
Member since:
2010-09-23

So this is part of extreme vetting, right?
<ducks />

Reply Score: 2

yeah what if you don't do social media?
by codifies on Fri 23rd Jun 2017 09:05 UTC
codifies
Member since:
2014-02-14

I genuinely don't do social media (why help ID thieves?) but I just know it'll be assumed I'm lying, don't fancy the rubber glove treatment so I guess that's one totalitarian regime I won't be visiting for holidays...

Reply Score: 3

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

codifies,

I genuinely don't do social media (why help ID thieves?) but I just know it'll be assumed I'm lying, don't fancy the rubber glove treatment so I guess that's one totalitarian regime I won't be visiting for holidays...


What about osnews?

Reply Score: 3

David Member since:
1997-10-01

I'd love to see Homeland Security bureaucrats try to makes sense out of a vi vs Emacs flamewar. They think they know about holy wars?

Reply Score: 1

completely pointless
by mistersoft on Fri 23rd Jun 2017 11:40 UTC
mistersoft
Member since:
2011-01-05

If I was going to be doing dodgy stuff online.
I'd cover my tracks and do it anonymously.

As it is, I'm not, so I don't.

Beyond my LinkedIn profile (and of course CV & work references), prospective employers and governments can either "go jump" -to be polite. Or are free to do their own digging, I'd not be handing over private (even public private) communications on their behalf.

Ridiculous state of affairs.

Reply Score: 3

RE: completely pointless
by Brendan on Fri 23rd Jun 2017 15:21 UTC in reply to "completely pointless"
Brendan Member since:
2005-11-16

Hi,

If I was going to be doing dodgy stuff online.
I'd cover my tracks and do it anonymously.

As it is, I'm not, so I don't.


In exchange for a very reasonable monthly subscription fee (in bitcoins or Russian rubles), I can arrange for a social media site to show that you've been saying things like "America is awesome" and "I love Trump" for the last 15 years.

Note: This is just a joke. I don't even like money!

- Brendan

Reply Score: 1

social media, come on...
by l3v1 on Fri 23rd Jun 2017 13:08 UTC
l3v1
Member since:
2005-07-06

While I can understand why people don't like the social media part of this, but there are much bigger issues, e.g., "15 years of biographical information including addresses, employment and travel history"... I work in research for 10+ years, I've traveled to very many conferences, project meetings, lots of work-related travels plus all the vacations... I'd need days to gather all the info, and I'm not even sure I could get it all ;) Thankfully I don't need a visa, but lots of people do. Oh, and IIRC you also need to provide the details of all your previous passports from all countries where you had one, which could also be a problem. Never mind 15 years of employment history ;) I wonder how many extra pages one could attach to this thing ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: social media, come on...
by shotsman on Sat 24th Jun 2017 05:44 UTC in reply to "social media, come on..."
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

The travel history thing would be fun. I've visited 92 countries including places like East Germany in 1972. I've even gone to the US done a bit of teaching and then flown to Russia and done some more. Oh, that won't matter as DT and PT are best pals aren't they.
Some of the trips I would not be able to even mention because of laws in other countries especially how I got from [redacted] to [redacted] in [redacted].
See how silly it is?
But the enforcement of silly rules to the Nth degree is something that the US prides itself in. For example, getting fined for putting out your trash at 23:30 rather than at 00:01.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by CATs
by CATs on Fri 23rd Jun 2017 13:55 UTC
CATs
Member since:
2017-06-09

Since they enabled ISPs to sell browsing history to marketing drones, some people wrote scripts to fill their browsing history with garbage whenever computer is idle... I wonder if similar principle could be applied here: set-up a profile on every social media site imaginable, fill it with some random info and activity, and just keep prepared list of those garbage profiles. Is it illegal to have a profile on many sites, even very obscure ones? No, definitely not. If enough people did this, such laws would be rendered completely useless very soon.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by CATs
by Kochise on Fri 23rd Jun 2017 19:20 UTC in reply to "Comment by CATs"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Don't worry, people already follows your advice and write garbage most of the time.

Reply Score: 2

feature, not bug
by tidux on Fri 23rd Jun 2017 23:24 UTC
tidux
Member since:
2011-08-13

All net gain in employment in the US in the 21st century (or at least up through the end of 2015) has gone to immigrants rather than the native born. Immigration should be curtailed sharply until that changes. Keeping shady immigrants out is a happy benefit of this decision.

Reply Score: 0

RE: feature, not bug
by David on Fri 23rd Jun 2017 23:54 UTC in reply to "feature, not bug"
David Member since:
1997-10-01

Although Rick Stantorum and the Center for Immigration Studies said in 2015 that "all" net gain in employment in the US went to immigrants, it's not true, and when you think about it, it seems pretty nutty to believe it could be true.

I suppose if it were true, it could represent a serious problem that needs fixing, but probably not with the solution that you're proposing. If most new jobs were going to immigrants, then that would mean that the US educational system has failed massively and the job market desperately needs skilled people so it has to import them.

The Center for Immigration Studies data pretty clearly plays fast and loose with the facts when you examine it closely at all.

Here's a factcheck on this topic: http://www.factcheck.org/2015/01/all-u-s-jobs-did-not-go-to-immigra...

https://www.cato.org/blog/cis-all-job-growth-2000-went-immigrants-fl...

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: feature, not bug
by shotsman on Sat 24th Jun 2017 15:29 UTC in reply to "RE: feature, not bug"
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

So you send all those immigrants home. Great. Are there unemployed Americans with the same skills just waiting to fill those vacancies?
Then what about the contracts that get lost because the companies can't fufill the orders because they don't have the staff? These companies might have to lay off Americans because of that.
Then there is the loss of money that those immigrants spend in the local economies.

The whole thing is not as simple as some people might want to make out.

Reply Score: 3

RE: feature, not bug
by unclefester on Sat 24th Jun 2017 08:50 UTC in reply to "feature, not bug"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

All net gain in employment in the US in the 21st century (or at least up through the end of 2015) has gone to immigrants rather than the native born. Immigration should be curtailed sharply until that changes. Keeping shady immigrants out is a happy benefit of this decision.


The problem is that the US has an absolutely abysmal school system. US high school graduates are 2-4 years behind the world's best school systems in mathemetics and science.

American employers can fight over a relatively tiny Ivy League talent pool or choose from millions of Eastern European, Indian, Chinese and Iranian graduates with exceptional skills. (A Chinese engineer friend of mine thinks that even the MIT undergradute courseware is far too easy.)

Reply Score: 2

RE: feature, not bug
by Vanders on Sun 25th Jun 2017 11:12 UTC in reply to "feature, not bug"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

All net gain in employment in the US in the 21st century (or at least up through the end of 2015) has gone to immigrants rather than the native born. Immigration should be curtailed sharply until that changes. Keeping shady immigrants out is a happy benefit of this decision.

Can we also curtail emmigration from the USA, too? Like, could you just stay put?

Reply Score: 2

RE: feature, not bug
by Soulbender on Tue 27th Jun 2017 05:13 UTC in reply to "feature, not bug"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Yeah, I'm sure the native indians wish they could have kept all the shady immigrants from Europe out.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Sat 24th Jun 2017 02:29 UTC
ilovebeer
Member since:
2011-08-08

List 5 years of social media handles? Is that supposed to be a serious question? I wonder what brilliant mind came up with that question that *surely* everyone will answer truthfully, including people with absolutely nothing to hide.

You know how the saying goes... Ask a stupid question, get a stupid answer....

Reply Score: 2

ahem
by unclefester on Sat 24th Jun 2017 08:57 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

Does the administration realise that many foreigners have never used Western social media? Those that do tend to use VPNs and false IDs.

I wish the State Department luck in the quest to obtain private data from Yandex and Weibo.

Reply Score: 3

Not my problem
by The1stImmortal on Sat 24th Jun 2017 09:59 UTC
The1stImmortal
Member since:
2005-10-20

If that's what the US wants to do, that's their call. Their borders, their rules.

I'm not planning on visiting the US any time soon so it doesn't bother me.

Anyone else who wants to go to the US has to make that call for themselves - do they go through with providing that info or not go?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Not my problem
by ilovebeer on Sat 24th Jun 2017 19:10 UTC in reply to "Not my problem"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

Next thing you know, they'll be asking for your social media handles just to renew your drivers license.

Reply Score: 2