|Above, Los Angeles International Airport. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
When I first saw the headline for this article, I did a double-take and thought, "WTF?!"
At first, I misread the headline, "U.S. Border Security Now Asking Foreign Travelers for Social Media Accounts" and I thought this is meant for everyone. But no, just for some foreign visitors to the U.S.
According to Condé Nast Traveler:
On December 20, the U.S. government began asking some foreign travelers entering the country to voluntarily share their social media accounts, in an attempt to prevent terrorism. The request is specifically being given to those arriving on the visa waiver program, who are given the option to select social platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Google+, and then enter their account names for each when going through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization process.
As Politico reports, the move has not been without controversy. Tech companies, including Facebook, Google, and Twitter, as well as consumer advocates, have criticized the new policy, citing privacy concerns, among other things. And while a spokeswoman for Customs and Border Protection said that the new measure is meant to "identify potential threats," there are also concerns about how much of an "option" it will be for foreigner travelers entering the country who don't want to share their social media information.Will this lead to other countries like Japan, France, Spain, United Kingdom and others to ask for the social media account information of U.S. citizens traveling abroad?
To read more, go here.