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Homeland Security will start collecting immigrants’ social media info next month

The department published a new rule in the Federal Register on September 18 stating that it plans to include “social media handles, aliases, associated identifiable information, and search results” as part of U.S. immigrants’ records. The new rule was first spotted by BuzzFeed. Civil liberties groups have expressed grave concern over the new rules. Not only could the government choose to deny access to the U.S. based on the political, religious, or social beliefs and information an immigrant posts on social media, opponents also argue that U.S. citizens themselves might start self-censoring who they interact with on social media out of fear that the information they exchange with a foreign national could be misconstrued and used against them. The new rule takes effect on October 18.

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