Homeland Security Secretary, John Kelly, has said visa applicants could be asked for passwords to their social media accounts by the United States, US, embassies, going forward.
Kelly said the move was necessary due to an ongoing effort to toughen the vetting of visitors and to screen out people who may pose security threats.
Kelly made the declaration on Tuesday at a hearing of the Homeland Security Committee.
Sky News quoted him as saying the development ‘is one of the steps being considered, especially for visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries with very weak background screening of their own such as Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.”
He said, “We’re looking at some enhanced or some additional screening.
“We may want to get on their social media, with passwords.
“It’s very hard to truly vet these people in these countries, the seven countries. But if they come in, we want to say, what websites do they visit, and give us your passwords.
“So we can see what they do on the internet.
“Anyone who refuses to cooperate would not be allowed into the United States.
“No decision has been made but tighter screening would be implemented, even if it means longer delays for awarding US visas to visitors.
“These are the things we are thinking about. But over there, we can ask them for this kind of information and if they truly want to come to America, then they will cooperate. If not, next in line,” he added.
This is coming after US President, Donald Trump banned immigration into the country from seven Muslim-majority countries – Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen.
Although the ban has since been suspended, it was primarily an executive order restricting travel for Muslims to the US for a temporary period of three months.