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U.S. Checking Social Media Posts of Visitors to the Country

Remember when you posted those unflattering comments about Donald Trump on Facebook or that photoshopped picture of him on Instagram with tiny hands and a fluffy ginger cat on his head?

Well, if you were thinking of a visit to Disneyland in Florida any time soon, you may have to change your holiday plans, as the US of A is considering checking out your social media profiles before allowing you to enter the country.

That means that if you are friends with Billy Bragg or click on “like” when you read a post by Noam Chomsky, you may be a godless Communist who may not be welcome in the land of the free. And those opinions you posted about Israel or 9-11? Well, forget it, you are a terrorist sympathizer and not welcome.

The proposal was first laid out back in June and applies only to those travelers who enter the U.S. temporarily without a visa through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization, or ESTA process. The goal, the government says, is to “identify potential threats”.

Now, according to a report in Politico since before Christmas US Customs and Border Protection are starting to demand that foreign travelers “enter information associated with your online presence,” and offers a drop-down menu allowing participants to enter in account names for most major social networks, including LinkedIn and even Google+ when applying to enter the USA.

What is not clear is if the information collected can be immediately used to deny travelers entry into the U.S. For the moment Customs and Border Protection says it will not deny entry to those that refuse to submit any social media information.

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