By Steve Dellar  |  09-30-2017   News
Photo credit: Pressureua | Dreamstime

Several immigrant rights groups screamed bloody hell this week when they learned that the Department of Homeland Security plans to track the activity newly arrived immigrants on social media.

When confronted with the note that their services had put in the Federal Register, the Department of Homeland Security shrugged off the accusations, saying this is nothing new.

Ms Joanne Talbot, a spokeswoman for the department, said: "Department of Homeland Security, in its law-enforcement and immigration-process capacity, has and continues to monitor publicly-available social media to protect the homeland. This amendment does not represent a new policy."

Ms Talbot added that the policy had been adopted since 2012, thus during the Democratic White House Administration of President Obama.

You might think that such an argument would immediately silence the immigrant rights groups, but it didn’t.

Adam Schwartz of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit rights group from San Francisco, said: "The public has known for some time about DHS using social media monitoring as a form of surveillance of immigrants. Many immigrants will be chilled and deterred from participating in speech and social media because they fear that the government is going to misunderstand what they're saying. You have a tremendous invasion of privacy, and you have no showing that the program has done a thing to advance the safety the people in our country."

Ever since the 2015 terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California, the Department of Homeland Security has been under ever bigger scrutiny to collect social media data of immigrants critical of the US.

One of the terrorists that committed this hideous act in which 14 people were killed and 22 others were seriously injured, Ms Tashfeen Malik, had praised violent jihad on social media platforms.

In February of this year, the Department of Homeland Security published a report about their efforts to track social media.

However, the report highlighted that at this moment the programs "lack criteria for measuring performance to ensure they meet their objectives."

Source:

http://wrvo.org/post/federal-plan-keep-files-immigrant-social-media-activity-causes-alarm

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