In what is seen as a highly controversial move if approved, the United States will be asking visitors to the country to divulge the passwords of their social media accounts.
The idea came from John Kelly, the Security of Homeland Security. Kelly stressed that the measure will help authorities determine if a person coming into the country has said or done anything that merits a look. Kelly also said that those who do not cooperate or give up their passwords will be barred from entering the country.
Kelly gave this suggestion to the House Homeland Security Committee which was having talks focused on the executive order signed by Donald Trump that prohibited people from certain nations as well as immigrants and refugees from being allowed into the country. Kelly also suggested that looking at the visitors' financial records is also being considered. PC World noted that despite Kelly's pronouncement that the measure was still only an idea, authorities were already asking foreign visitors to provide social media account IDs.
As expected, Kelly's idea was met with opposition. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has openly opposed Trump's travel ban and has said before that the U.S. is a country of immigrants, a fact that should be met with pride.
Robert McCaw of the Council on American-Islamic Relations stressed that the "price of admission into the United States shouldn't mean giving up your online life". McCaw also expressed one possible problem with Kelly's pronouncement - forgetfulness. Many, if not all of those who have created social media accounts have forgotten a password at one time or another. McCaw sees the possibility of being accused of lying to a federal agency when in fact the person just forgot his or her password and could not disclose the requested piece of information.
CNET acknowledged the fact that social media networks such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter offer a lot of information about a person. Such is the case with Trump himself who is an active Twitter user.