U.S. Looking to Boost Social Media Security
- By Sydny Shepard
- Dec 15, 2015
The Department of Homeland Security is working on a plan to expand scrutiny of social-media posts as part of its visa application process before certain people are allowed to enter the county.
This move is part of a new focus after authorities found evidence of the use of social-networking sites following the shooting rampage in San Bernardino, California two weeks ago.
Currently, DHS only looks at postings by visa applicants intermittently, as part of three pilot programs that began earlier this year. It is unclear how quickly a new process could be implemented.
Islamic State and other terrorist groups have used social media to communicate with one another and seek converts. Law-enforcement and counter terrorism officials have spent years trying to unearth clues about attacks in such postings.
The House of Representatives will vote on a bill in mid-December to require the Obama administration to come up with a comprehensive strategy to combat terrorists’ use of social media. Under the measure, the White House would have to inform Congress about the social-media training it provides law-enforcement officials.
Experts said the DHS program would need to be carefully crafted, given the range of online sources.
“It’s time this administration stopped worrying about the privacy of foreigners more than the security of Americans,” Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security said.
Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.