Monday, January 30, 2017

Social media checks at the border?

Border agents have been demanding social media data from visitors and even from American citizens returning home since Donald Trump issued his controversial Executive Order on immigration on January 27, as reported by Sofia Cope of Electronic Frontier Foundation today, here .

One interesting argument advanced by EFF concerns the fact that smart phones access data not physically on the phones but in Cloud accounts.  (My own phone keeps trying to sign me on to it.)  But that argument has a counterparty:  fibbies could also troll cloud accounts for legal violations (like for known child pornography images).

There would also be the possibility that the government would learn a lot more about ordinary civilians at home.  The government could see, for example, that I have attracted an unusual percentage of Muslim Facebook friends and Twitter followers given the nature of my content, and wonder why.

CNN has more details by Jake Tapper here.  At least the development would counter Trump's earlier (2015) threats to shut down parts of the Internet.  Maybe he realizes it can yield real intelligence. 

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