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Visiting the US soon? They might want your passwords, financial records

Visa-based entrance to the United States may soon depend on whether you are willing to give authorities your social media passwords, as part of President Donald Trump’s “extreme vetting” policy, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said in a congressional hearing on Tuesday, according to NBC News.

Those who refuse would be turned back.

“When someone says, ‘I’m from this town and this was my occupation,’ [officials] essentially have to take the word of the individual,” he said. “I frankly don’t think that’s enough, certainly President Trump doesn’t think that’s enough. So we’ve got to maybe add some additional layers.”

It was only recently that DHS announced visitors had to share their social media profiles when entering the country, as part of a stronger cybersecurity strategy. The password proposal was also considered by the Obama administration, but never moved forward.

Kelly made the comments the same day judges received arguments for Trump’s travel order to ban refugees from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Libya and Yemen. The controversial order has been perceived as a “Muslim ban” and has been blocked by a judge for now.

“It’s very hard to truly vet these people in these countries, the seven countries,” Kelly said. “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.”

Kelly is also interested in receiving visitors’ financial records.

“We can follow the money, so to speak. How are you living, who’s sending you money?” he said. “It applies under certain circumstances, to individuals who may be involved in on the payroll of terrorist organizations.”

No final decisions have been made yet.

About the author


From a young age, Luana knew she wanted to become a writer. After having addressed topics such as NFC, startups, and tech innovation, she has now shifted focus to internet security, with a keen interest in smart homes and IoT threats. Luana is a supporter of women in tech and has a passion for entrepreneurship, technology, and startup culture.