The Trump administration implemented a new policy today that will require most visa applicants to provide information about their social media accounts
The Hill first reported the news. A State Department spokesperson confirmed to The Verge that the new forms requiring accounts were put into use today.
The spokesperson said the policy will require both temporary and permanent travelers to list their accounts when sending an application to the State Department. According to The Hill, a drop-down menu will require the applicants to name the accounts, or to say they do not use them. Officials will then use a screening system against the provided information.
The State Department said last year that, despite criticism, it would move ahead with the proposal. Under the plan, applicants will be required to the United States to list the social media accounts they’ve used in the past five years. The Hill reports that the system will start with only some “major” social media services, but it could be expanded later.
The State Department already collects information on applicants like previous addresses and contact information. But the new policy, part of the Trump administration’s plan for “extreme vetting” of visitors to the United States, has faced criticism on privacy and civil liberty grounds, with the American Civil Liberties Union describing the plan as “ineffective and deeply problematic.”