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The US wants to check visa applicants' social media posts

Homeland Security is working on a plan to make that happen after the San Bernardino shooting.
Mariella Moon, @mariella_moon
December 14, 2015
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Getting a US visa might soon become even harder for some individuals. In addition to the 5939582 requirements applicants need to enter the country, the United States government wants to start inspecting their social media posts. According to The Wall Street Journal, the Department of Homeland Security is currently devising a plan to make that stage a part of visa applications "before certain people are allowed entry into the nation."

Homeland Security has already begun looking at select applicants' posts earlier this year as part of a pilot program, but the agency has become more serious after authorities found that they missed one of the San Bernardino shooter's pro-jihad social media posts. She passed three background checks during her visa application process when she moved from Pakistan to the US.

At the moment, details about Homeland Security's new program are scarce, as the government doesn't want to reveal how it finds and identifies posts considered as threats. As the WSJ said, though, it's not entirely clear how quickly the agency can insert social media checks into the visa application process, so we can't say for sure which (and when) applicants will have to go through the process.

[Image credit: MARK RALSTON/AFP/GettyImages]

In this article: culture, politics, usvisa
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