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FILE - In this Jan. 25, 2016, file photo, a passenger talks on the phone as American Airlines jets sit parked at their gates at Washington's Ronald Reagan National Airport. American reports financial results on Friday, April 22, 2016. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

The US government started asking foreign visitors for their social media info


Traveling to the US anytime soon? You might be asked about your social media accounts.

The US government on Tuesday began requesting Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites of foreign visitors entering the country to prevent potential threats, according to POLITICO.

Select foreign travelers arriving in the US on the visa waiver program have been prompted with an "optional" request form to "enter information associated with your online presence," a government official confirmed Thursday.

The drop-down menu includes the following platforms:

  • Facebook
  • Google+
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Instagram
  • Twitter

Travelers are then given a blank space to input their account names on the above sites.
A spokeswoman for Customs and Border Protection, who said the government approved the change on Dec. 19, told POLITICO on Thursday the new policy is meant to "identify potential threats." Although a traveler's decision to supply the info is optional, the Department of Homeland Security has received a ton of criticism over its proposal.

The Internet Association, which represents companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter, said the proposal would possibly "have a chilling effect on use of social media networks, online sharing and, ultimately, free speech online."

Screen Shot 2016-12-25 at 4.02.42 PM.png
Screen grab of the letter against the proposal

More than 30 organizations signed this letter back in August opposing the proposal.

People haven't been too keen about the policy update.

What do you think?

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