back to article Visiting America? US border agents want your Twitter, Facebook URLs

The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency wants to collect links to social network accounts of people visiting the Land of the FreeTM. Under new proposals, each traveler filling out an I-94 travel form or applying for an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) visa will be asked for "information associated …

  1. Graham Marsden
    Facepalm

    The sound you hear...

    ... is Daesh laughing as another of our freedoms is whittled away a little more...

    1. Brandon 2

      Re: The sound you hear...

      ... the frog is slowly boiling...

    2. Daggerchild Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: The sound you hear...

      'Freedom', its definition and its usage are the property of America (Incorporated). Any usage of this term in contradiction to, or slanderous of, the Approved Definition are violations of the TTIP agreement and grounds for extradition1 and trial on charge of corporate treason.

      This forum does not have the required American Patriotism icon available (Article 2647c, subsection 6).

      1) America Incorporated will not be held responsible for the condition of your spine during transport

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The sound you hear...

      is the whir of a hard drive registering your comment and other details in the faraway land of the free.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: The sound you hear...

        Shit. Thats me going in the clink, i dont use social media and theyll never believe me :(

  2. NoneSuch Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Freedom of speech, unless the US government disagrees with it.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Freedom of speech includes also

      Freedom of speech also includes the Freedom to remain silent and the right not to listen.

      I do not have an account on F***book, I do not have an account on Tw*tter, I do not have an account on Cretinogramm and I am considering closing down the LinkedIn account.

      Does this disqualify me from the visa waiver program (*)?

      (*)ESTA went completely overboard in the last 3 years. When I filled my Esta in 2011, it was a page of data. Filling it again last year - there were two pages asking for all kinds of irrelevant crap. In fact, in my case it could not be filled (unless you deliberately enter invalid data). The idiot who coded the web front-end did not comprehend the idea of "I have a cittizenship of country X, but I do not hold a valid passport with that country"

      1. organiser

        Re: Freedom of speech includes also

        That makes you an asocial "alien" (not the space kind) who clearly has something to hide. Quite possibly a nefarious t*st and you are as such probably disqualified (and put on a no fly/no swim/no boat/no train/no bus/no drive/no walk list for good measure).

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        re. Does this disqualify me from the visa waiver program (*)?

        quite probably. And I mean it. After all, you can't appeal their decision, or if you can, it's only once you're back in your own home turf.

  3. Dadmin
    FAIL

    What a load of cobblers

    "Collecting social media data will enhance the existing investigative process and provide DHS [Department of Homeland Security] greater clarity and visibility to possible nefarious activity and connections by providing an additional tool set which analysts and investigators may use to better analyze and investigate the case."

    Bullshit. This is just another waste of time and resources geared to make outsiders think something useful is going on at DHS, when the sad fact is they have done nothing for security. Ever. Just another department working with an unlimited budget of other people's fears. Sort of like the FBI/CIA/NSA/etc. A shit TON of requests for unencrypted data and other fucking nonsense, and NOTHING to show for it. Not ONE thwart. Not ONE conviction. A lot of annoyed people, none of which were "terrys." None of the people they mentioned ever caused a crime relating to their tweet and/or visit. None of the people they are going to bother with this joke of a request will be terrys; "give us your tweets and farcebooks pooosts! 'cause, crimes." Just a bunch of sad idiots who fail to understand what investigation means when it does not start at the Google Search prompt...

    1. g e

      Of course, given a choice...

      You can visit another country and spend your holiday cash within their economy instead.

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: Of course, given a choice...

        Greece was looking like a good cheap holiday option with ancient historical sites to visit and fantastic food.

        Not so cheap from the UK now, of course...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What a load of cobblers

      Makes me wonder what they'll do if you don't have any social media accounts. I don't, never had and I have on intention of ever getting one.

      Maybe they'll "persuade" you to start one so that they can keep taps on your vacation :P

      1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

        Re: What a load of cobblers

        Simply use the "cunning plan" (doffs hat to Baldric) of opening an account with next to nothing on it.

        The proposal is really, really stupid, the usual practice of adding more hay in order to find more needles, instead of getting a bigger magnet.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Security Theatre

    Some with two neurons to rub together put it in the suggestion box.

    1. Someone Else Silver badge

      Re: Security Theatre

      Someone without two neurons to rub together put it in the suggestion box.

      There. FTFY.

      (But you certainly got the headline right!)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Note that this is occurring under the Obama Administration.

    And one of the presidential candidates has declared a desire to continue Obama's legacy.

    1. MrDamage

      I'll have whatever you're smoking.

      Blaming Obama for this is like blaming the CEO of a company when the muppet in charge of the stationary cupboard insists you bring the worn out stub of a pencil back as proof of use, before they issue you with a new pencil.

      Besides, isn't Obama just carrying on with Dubya's legacy?

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Re: I'll have whatever you're smoking.

        Besides, isn't Obama just carrying on with Dubya's legacy?

        Yeah, but he's really taking up the weight with gusto.

        God Help Us All if Hillary is elected. A two-front war with China and Russia using stealthed first-strike tac nukes in a "nuclear ramp-up" scenario? Yes, she can!

        1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

          Re: I'll have whatever you're smoking.

          We should all vote Trump/Palin then. Got it.

          1. 's water music Silver badge

            Re: I'll have whatever you're smoking.

            We should all vote Trump/Palin then. Got it.

            Careful with that voting intention sarcasm. You never know what might happen*

            *don't ask me how I know this

          2. Robert Moore
            Alien

            Re: I'll have whatever you're smoking.

            > We should all vote Trump/Palin then. Got it.

            Please, please, please let it be Trump/Palin. The entertainment value of dumb and dumberer would keep me laughing for at least a decade.

            PS: I have been predicting a Trump/Palin partnership for several months.

            Fingers crossed.

        2. SoloSK71

          Re: I'll have whatever you're smoking. (Was it something from a rare frog/mushroom/plant?)

          "God Help Us All if Hillary is elected. A two-front war with China and Russia using stealthed first-strike tac nukes in a "nuclear ramp-up" scenario? Yes, she can!"

          Here's your sign!

          And your tin foil hat.

          The downside of freedom of speech right there.

        3. Updraft102 Silver badge

          Re: I'll have whatever you're smoking.

          When Bush was in office, people criticized the PATRIOT Act (rightfully) because of what the government *could* do. Under Obama, it's what the government *is* doing.

          If the PATRIOT Act is bad (and it is), it's bad no matter whom is using it to spy on... well, everyone, American or otherwise.

      2. Pomgolian
        Headmaster

        Re: I'll have whatever you're smoking.

        >when the muppet in charge of the stationary cupboard

        Well, let's hope the aforementioned muppet does indeed keep the cupboard stationary - last thing you want are cupboards flying around all over the shop. Think of the children!

        Perhaps there are other muppets out there who whose portfolio includes stationery. They're the ones to steer clear of.

        1. Imsimil Berati-Lahn

          Re: I'll have whatever you're smoking.

          Always makes me chortle, that one. Reminded of the mindbending paradox I experienced upon reading the sign "The stationary cupboard has moved". Wow! Presumably encountered an irresistible force or something. What other explanation could there be?

        2. Wensleydale Cheese

          flying cupboards

          "last thing you want are cupboards flying around all over the shop.."

          Misread that as "ship" and had a mental picture of what happens if you don't fasten stuff securely when afloat,

      3. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: I'll have whatever you're smoking.

        the stationary cupboard

        As they overwhelmingly tend to be.

        1. John Malaney
          WTF?

          Re: I'll have whatever you're smoking.

          Our stationary is held in a filing cabinet in a rolling stack, It still amuses me when I watch the labelled stationary cupboard glide effortlessly backwards and forwards along its track

      4. Dave 15

        Re: I'll have whatever you're smoking.

        I don't buy the whole 'its not the bosses fault when it goes wrong' attitude. Frankly he takes the credit when things go right, he takes the power, the prestige and the money regardless of things going right or wrong.

        No, if he is being paid for being in charge then if it is wrong it is his fault. He could simply step in and say 'oi idiots, scrap this idea right now, then take yourself off to pension land so I never hear your name again'... prove who is in charge and prove he knows his arse from his elbow.

    2. macjules Silver badge

      Never mind. Under Trump there won't be an internet any more anyway. After all, it's only used by terrorists (pronounced 'Muslims'), Mexicans and pinko limeys.

  6. Mark 85 Silver badge

    I guess it's good then that I'm a citizen and not a visitor....

    No FB, no Twitter, etc.... They'd think I was lying by saying that and put me back on the plane. What a bunch of asshats.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: I guess it's good then that I'm a citizen and not a visitor....

      And, for similar reasosns, as a non-citizen it's a good thing I have no intention to visit there.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I guess it's good then that I'm a citizen and not a visitor....

        And, for similar reasons, as a non-citizen it's a good thing I have no intention to visit there.

        I agree. It appears my list needs amending:

        1 - TSA. 'nuf said.

        2 - Data shakedown at the border: they can take any device off you and do whatever they feel like with it, even keep it for a while. Which could even include INJECTING data for later entrapment. Did you piss off any important US company of late? Or did you invent something important that a US company doesn't really want to pay for? Oh, and details of any social media use, please.

        3 - The way foreigners are treated. Unless they have a "cute" accent like British, but God help you if you happen to be non-white. I'd be extra careful: don't get as much as a sun tan, a mistake is so easily made when there are no real consequences attached to it.

        4 - Lots of private gun ownership and next to no control on it. And quite a lot of "rampages" and "accidents". Oh, did I mention you're a foreigner? You can't have any to defend yourself either. Maybe someone should set up shop selling at least bulletproof vests. And armoured vehicles. Police killing people does generally not have consequences either.

        5 - Privacy? You're kidding, right?

        6 - Legalised theft by the people who are supposed to protect you. It'll be even easier to do this to you as a foreigner because you'll stand no chance in court, living abroad and all that. Ka-tching!

        Every time a US politician uses the word "Freedom" you know they're lying (well, more than usual).

        1. Dave 15

          Re: I guess it's good then that I'm a citizen and not a visitor....

          Cute accent like British... what do you mean? The US HATE the British with a passion. Of course if you are Irish you are a legitimate freedom fighter bashing against the hateful tyranny of the out of control British empire and so deserve support and funding. But other British, certainly not, you are more likely to be cavity searched just to remind you not to visit again in a hurry.

          1. John G Imrie

            Re: I guess it's good then that I'm a citizen and not a visitor....

            Odd that my reality is so different from yours, I had been told some horror stories about US Passport control, but I had no problems. The passport officer even smiled when my g/f made a rather crap joke.

          2. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: I guess it's good then that I'm a citizen and not a visitor....

            Dave 15 most Americans are not like you and don't do this "hate" thing.

            Anyway Van Bryan is Irish, and said he was going to dig up Marilyn on Hollywood. But Marilyn is interred at Westwood Village which is way over near UCLA campus, nowhere near Hollywood Boulevard.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      So....

      ... will the guvmint use this information to keep off all morons who facebook their instagram tweets about how they are going to be rowdy and drunk and behave as idiots in public?

      Hum..... there must be a catch.

      1. Chronos Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: So....

        Do your football fans do that as well? Whoda thunk...

    3. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: I guess it's good then that I'm a citizen and not a visitor....

      "No FB, no Twitter, etc.... They'd think I was lying by saying that and put me back on the plane."

      My thoughts exactly, but from the viewpoint of a potential visitor. Ah well, maybe I'll set up an account with XING, just to have something to show them.

      Why are the lunatics in charge of running the asylum?

      1. A Ghost

        Re: I guess it's good then that I'm a citizen and not a visitor....

        Why are the lunatics in charge of running the asylum?

        Very good question. I shall try to give a very good answer:

        Because these fuckers are criminally insane psychopaths, not just your common or garden disorganised looper/moon howler.

        I grew up being taught torture was wrong, and these bastards legitimized it and watered it down for the masses.

        1. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: I guess it's good then that I'm a citizen and not a visitor....

          To add to it... most of them are minimum wage contractors and most are wannabee cops who could pass the entrance exam. Like mall cops but with more power. Draw your conclusions from this and the A Ghost's comments.

        2. Ropewash
          Joke

          Re: I guess it's good then that I'm a citizen and not a visitor....

          "I grew up being taught torture was wrong, and these bastards legitimized it and watered it down for the masses."

          Watered it down...

          PFFFFT.

          Good one, considering one of their favoured methods.

        3. macjules Silver badge

          You think YOU have problems?

          My CV reads that I once worked on a database system built for the (then) Thames Water Board. I do not even want to think what would happen if I gave them my LinkedIn username. I might get a medal.

      2. Wingtech
        Mushroom

        Re: I guess it's good then that I'm a citizen and not a visitor....

        If The Donald arrives in Washington will you be able to tell where the asylum starts?

        There has always been a strange dichotomy in the YouEss between those with knowledge and the legislature.

        Found out the hard way that if you air-freight a vehicle to there you have to empty the fule tank - 'cos gas\petrol is explosive, isnt it?

        Just ask a fire expert which i more dangerous, a full fuel tank with no air-space, or a recently emptied tank. Perhaps that should read a fule tank in the YouEss.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No FB, no Twitter, etc....

      count yourself lucky, you might still slip throught the net. On top of no fb no twitter etc, I was in Turkey, Iran (transit, but who cares) and in Pakistan... of all the placed! Holy f...! I mean, what sane man (other than a terrorist) would ever visit Pakistan THREE times?! Step over to this side, sir!

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I guess it's good then that I'm a citizen and not a visitor....

      Despite being a heavy internet user since the early 90's I don't have Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or even a LinkedIn id. This was due to me being acutely aware of the future risks having worked in InfoSec for more that 20 years .... alternatively it's due to me having no friends having worked in InfoSec for more than 20 years :-))

  7. Kumar2012
    Facepalm

    So they will go through your social media feeds to find out if things you posted show that you are up to no good, yet the head law enforcer for the USA, AG Loretta Lynch, still can't figure out what motivated the Orlando club shooter despite all he proclaimed, claiming 'we may never know'. So what you post on social media can clearly show intent but what a terrorist says while gunning people down doesn't oO?

    http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/ag-loretta-lynch-orlando-gunmans-motive-may-never-be-known/

    1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      Yep, Orlando motive will remain the deepest of mysteries

      Who could possibly work out the murky motives of the Orlando shooter? What, oh what could have been going through his mind?? Why this club of all clubs? If only we had something from him before the shootings, something he might have said or posted in the weeks leading up to his incalculably unfathomable rationale, so we could gleam some hint of what might have driven him to this terrible act.

  8. John 104

    Embarrassing.

    Apologies from the States.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Don't worry, we all know that this kind of fuck-wittery is state-sponsored and not necessarily a reflection on the *actual* people who live in the US.

      When I say *actual*, I mean normal people who don't crave more power in order to wield it unnecessarily to make up for a lack of personality/soul/conscience - the list is endless.

      In the UK we refer to such people as 'car-park attendants' - i.e. people with a tiny amount of power who suddenly think they are Kings and try to make everyone else feel small, because deep down they know they are inconsequential little shits who don't amount to a whiff off a fart.

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Nice of you

      Apology accepted.

      Now we only need 350 million more, and things might start to change.

  9. captain_solo

    Haha, how cute, the .gov pretending they don't already have access to this data.

    1. A Ghost

      They are just testing reactions and like to see you sweat. Same way they like you to cry for 'Mammy' just before they cut another of your toes off.

      This is the country that employs doctors to keep torture victims alive for longer remember? Legally too. Not that the word 'legal' really means anything anymore.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  10. The Nazz Silver badge

    Is there a kickstarter fund i can contribute to....

    To help the Mexicans build that wall? To keep the yanks IN.

    1. Cynical Observer
      Thumb Up

      Re: Is there a kickstarter fund i can contribute to....

      Adam Hills and The Last Leg crew have made excellent progress on the northern border with Canada.

      Bricking it for Canada

      1. Alistair Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Is there a kickstarter fund i can contribute to....

        @C.O.

        *thank you* for putting a smile on my face in the office this morning.

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Is there a kickstarter fund i can contribute to....

      To keep the "yanks" (i.e. loutish New Englanders with missionary complexes) in you will have to build a wall at the height of the Mason-Dixon line but that would probably be considered racist nowadays seeing how the Confederate Flag (apparently "a more rectangular variant of the Army of Northern Virginia battle flag") is a "symbol of hate" and gives the PC brigade more conniptions than subliminal messages of terror in TV scan intervals.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Is there a kickstarter fund i can contribute to....

        Confederate Flag ..."symbol of hate"

        Does that mean the top of the General Lee is blurred out now when they show re-runs of The Duke of Hazard?

        MMmmmmm....Daisy Duke. Need a cold shower now.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good idea

    Anyone entering the US should be viewed with suspicion, and rightly so. Who on earth would want to go there? Nothing to hide, nothing to fear.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Good idea

      I can just imagine the new UK form:

      Are you now, or have you every been a citizen of an EU country?

      Are you now or have you ever been a doctor, dentist, nurse or any other profession that is in short supply in the UK?

      Are you now or have you ever been a waiter, cleaner, fruit picker or any taken any other job that UK citizens are too stuck up to do?

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Good idea

        Are you now, or have you every been an expert?

        Are you now, or have you every been a foreigner?*

        * Furriner, for the other side of the pond.

    2. A Ghost

      Re: Good idea

      I'd love to go to America. But not so much AmeriKKKa.

      What a beautiful country. With some of the brightest and most beautiful people you could ever wish to meet. Good, honest, decent folk.

      Then there are those who run the government, who have effectively destroyed it beyond recognition. And they aren't finished yet.

      They won't be happy until the Statue of Liberty is in pieces on the beach and the common man, on his knees, cries out 'Take your hands off me you damned, dirty ape!'.

      1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

        Re: Good idea

        The same happens with the lovely and nice people in the UK.

        But both vote for politicians that deliver misery to others, and they don't care, so, in fact, not so nice at all.

        1. A Ghost

          Re: Good idea

          You are quite right of course.

          That is the paradox.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Good idea

          "But both vote for politicians that deliver misery to others, and they don't care,"

          Sadly, it seems these days you have to rich and/or from the "right" school/college/university to get the seat of power, so the rest of us plebs are left with a shitty choice such as Johnson/Corbyn or Clinton/Trump.

    3. Alan Edwards

      Re: Good idea

      I don't know, there are some good bits.

      From personal experience, the Grand Canyon, the road through Lake Mead National Recreation Area that is the back way to the Hoover dam from Las Vegas, discovering a Lockheed Constellation parked by the side of the road (actually a small aircraft museum), finding out that you really can hear crickets chirping at night like on all the TV programs.

  12. Ian Emery Silver badge

    I dont have ANY of the above mentioned

    I still wont visit the place again though; they pointed machine guns at my 7 y/o because a drawing pin stuck in his shoe set off the metal detector.

    And I dont mean swung in his direction, I mean pointed AT him until the offending pin was removed.

    They also tried to claim the pitch repairer on my mothers keychain was a dangerous weapon (she is a keen golfer).

    After taking SIX HOURS to clear customs, and being treated as if we were all terrorists, I wouldnt go back if they paid me to go.

    (Disney was nice, Universal Studios Halloween party was awesome, and NASA was... NASA)

    1. A Ghost
      Trollface

      Re: I dont have ANY of the above mentioned

      I still wont visit the place again though; they pointed machine guns at my 7 y/o because a drawing pin stuck in his shoe set off the metal detector.

      Calm down! What you don't realise, Mr. Over-Reactioner, is that your 7 y/o has actually been a 'very real and credible security threat' for the last 3 years. It all started with that 'myLittleiPhone' you bought him, and the canny little bastard hacked into the Pentagon servers by mistake whilst trying to gain extra credits for Candy Crush. He's good, but not that good! Yet.

      And I dont mean swung in his direction, I mean pointed AT him until the offending pin was removed.

      You obviously are not someone who is familiar with the sheer awesomeness of these good officers in question, are you? Do you not realise these good men are trained to within an inch of their life, to do stuff like that in their sleep, blindfolded, with muffs on, whilst smokebombs flash and thunder cracks? Pah, you big sissy. They KNEW what they were doing (in more ways than one). The fact that you have not been trained to SWAT level 11, only shows what a piss-ant-cotton-pants you are. Real men, doing real jobs. You would do best to wind your neck in and not be a drama queen about it. I sincerely hope the offending pin in question was decommissioned in a safe and responsible manner. And your errant son learned the error of his ways.

      They also tried to claim the pitch repairer on my mothers keychain was a dangerous weapon (she is a keen golfer).

      To be fair, she's also a Black-Belt in Karate. And she can use that keychain the way a Samurai wields a petrol powered chainsaw, i.e, not very effectively, but would YOU want to be on the receiving end of it? Anyway, if she's anything like my mother, the old budge needs to be put on some kind of list, just for her own safety, if no one else's (she's a fucking menace [my mum anyway]). Good job she didn't have any of them there 'nail-clippers' (you know like the ones Jean Claude van Damn the Man used in Try-Hard-3). They'd have locked her up and threw away the key! (personal memo to self: must book holidays for mum to the land of the free, home of the brave, and don't forget to pack her 'suitcase' - wink-wink -<cough> garden shears </cough>)

      After taking SIX HOURS to clear customs, and being treated as if we were all terrorists, I wouldnt go back if they paid me to go.

      Don't worry, next time, they won't be paying you to go back - you'll be going back whether you like it or not. You're on the list now, like it or not. Next stop Poland and some extra-curricular rendition for you and your family. Cause quite obviously, they don't give a shit about scaring little kids as well as adults, do they? I'm sure they'd be happy to 'shake you all up' a bit more. It's where all the smart jobs are these days, you mug!

      </extreme sarcasm, not wishing to make light of your horrendous experience, but angry enough to attempt some late night satire>

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I dont have ANY of the above mentioned

      I read an article the other day (Think it was on the BBC) where they compared the methods of the US & European Police forces.

      - In America, the Police do their best to intimidate you into giving a confession.

      - In Europe, the Police try to find facts.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I dont have ANY of the above mentioned

        The bit that gets me is that you can pay a fine for something without admitting guilt. That's such a weird combination of blackmail and bribing that I still can't quite believe that anyone can claim that will do something to correct a law breaker. It merely ensures the next time they'll make the heist big enough to make the fine the cost of being a criminal.

      2. Dave 15

        Re: I dont have ANY of the above mentioned

        In America you are right, intimidation... but then the people you are intimidating might be armed.

        In Europe, the police are too busy manning speed cameras and telling you off because your music is too loud to give a fig about anything.

        In other places the police are out extracting cash payments.

  13. d3vy Silver badge

    "Collecting social media data will enhance the existing investigative process and provide DHS [Department of Homeland Security] greater clarity and visibility to possible nefarious activity and connections by providing an additional tool set which analysts and investigators may use to better analyze and investigate the case."

    Bollocks. For a start how many nefarious activities do people Carry out on public social media? Second if they did.. would they give you their real user name?

  14. TRT Silver badge

    Have you ever participated in persecutions directed by Germany?

    So THAT'S why Merkel said "No need to be nasty over this."

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Have you ever participated in persecutions directed by Germany?

      >Have you ever participated in persecutions directed by Germany?

      But don't have any useful rocket engine building skills.

  15. DiViDeD Silver badge

    One more reason never to go near the place

    If I needed any more reasons. Stick to visiting countries with a little more respect for visitors' privacy. Like China or North Korea, or anywhere in the Middle East (except Israel, obviously)

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Israel is not the same

      Security, in Israel, is not a buzzword. They do not need to examine your Facebook profile, they're examining YOU - something the TSA / border agents simply cannot fathom.

      The USA has, for the past 50 years, put 100% of their efforts in electronic intelligence. It seemed to be a good choice because their territory is far from any conflict (thanks to the meddling of the CIA, but that is another subject entirely). That choice failed badly on 9/11, and has not shown any significant success since.

      Israel does not ignore electronic intelligence, but it uses something that is much more efficient when confronted with actual threats from people who do not have the means to organize on Facebook ; it uses what used to be called HUMINT, aka Human Intelligence, aka actual, on-site observation. If you haven't yet, this page is a good read.

      As a counterpoint, some people argue that the Israeli model does not scale. To that, there is only one response : 9/11.

      Real security requires real effort. The TSA does not put in the effort, ergo, the TSA is useless.

      You can apply the same rule to border agents. It is way much easier to get people's Facebook profile and slam them for a few drunken party pics or a stupid tweet than it is to find actual terrorists.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Israel is not the same

        In general I'd agree with your post, except for one point:

        Real security requires real effort. The TSA does not put in the effort, ergo, the TSA is useless.

        That depends on your definition of "useless". In the context of anti-terror success I would agree, but given how they operate I would venture that isn't the TSA's main purpose. Their real purpose is power and making money for the companies behind them. Remember, this is the US of A. People and principles will always play second fiddle to the almighty dollar, and the TSA is right in the middle of that large number of agencies feeding from the trough of public spending. Any suggestion that they would actually do something useful should be met with the derision that deserves.

        The Israeli model scales fine if you have an ample supply of intelligent people with sound judgement, which is where the problem lies if you're running a business that is for the bigger part based on security theatre..

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

          My definition of useless is simple : an organization is created for a specific goal, if none of that organization's activity goes toward effectively accomplishing that goal, then that organization is useless.

          It may be making money (something I doubt the TSA is doing much of, given that it is a governmental organization), but it is still useless.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            It may be making money (something I doubt the TSA is doing much of, given that it is a governmental organization), but it is still useless.

            I strongly doubt the TSA staff and operations are exclusively in the hands of a pure government organisation. Most likely they have outsourced the manpower needs, and there's also the huge amount of money spent on detecting equipment, which includes VERY expensive scanners that were never installed. Hence the money argument.

            BTW: have you noticed that government departments of that kind NEVER shrink? Ever?

  16. Black Rat
    Flame

    My social network account is on a slate behind the bar of the White Hart.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Would I be accused of lying if I said I didn't have any?

    Is the onus of proof on them to prove that I am ${SOCIAL_MEDIA_IDENTIFIER}, or on me to prove I am not?

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

      Re: Would I be accused of lying if I said I didn't have any?

      The onus of proof is wherever they feel like putting it.

      So guess .....

  18. Daggerchild Silver badge

    Be careful what you wish for...

    I keep a compressed GB or seven of /dev/zero around especially for people who get nosey about my online data. It's all in the content-encoding. Doddle to transmit... devil to digest...

    Actually, now I'm thinking about it, Rowhammer highlit a particular bitpattern I should perhaps send instead... nosey go sparkypop?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Be careful what you wish for...

      Random.org can give you boat loads of gibberish to leave in files.

      Of course, "they" might have a utility to come up with a "key" and an incrimination message based on your purely random noise.

      i.e. Your Noise := Made-Up False Incrimination * Required "Key"

    2. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Be careful what you wish for...

      Wouldn't a file consisting of /dev/zero compress right down to practically nothing?

      Better would be something that's more random, but has a hint of a pattern to it. Something the Yanks will never comprehend, but will spend time trying to decipher anyway.

      Maybe several years worth of cricket commentaries?

  19. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Windows

    Serially jumping sharks!!

    "Have you ever participated in persecutions directed by the Nazi government or Germany; or have you ever participated in genocide?"

    Not often, but in my advancing age my anger is increasing so this might become a more permanent hobby. (Oy hey I think the US didn't label Kissinger-approved excesses in East Timor or Guatemalan "anticommie" ops genocide, so it's ok if one lent a hand in those hotspots?)

    How to traverse DHS-controlled territory: The Matrix Lobby Scene

    1. AndrueC Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Serially jumping sharks!!

      How to traverse DHS-controlled territory: The Matrix Lobby Scene

      Bah. I never felt they made good enough use of surround sound in that scene. For a decent gun battle you need the beach assault scene from Saving Private Ryan.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My new facebook

    Create a dummy account with any free email service www.facebook.com\Sucka Mi Balles

    1. Oengus

      Re: My new facebook

      I was just thinking that I would have to create farcebook, twatter etc accounts (I don't have any) so I could visit the US. That would show that my IQ was low enough to assimilate with the locals.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: My new facebook

        "I was just thinking that I would have to create farcebook, twatter etc accounts (I don't have any) so I could visit the US. "

        I tried to use an escalator the other day. There was a sign saying "Dogs must be carried" I didn't have a dog so I had walk up the stairs.

        1. Roj Blake Silver badge

          Re: My new facebook

          Have you been listening to last night's ISIHAC?

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: My new facebook

            I just heard it tonight (the wonders of a PVR) and that's a nice coincidence :-)

            Tommy Cooper had some great lines and I expect he'd have laughed at that round singing "My Way" in the style of Tommy Cooper. The final curtain line was almost in bad taste considering his demise.

  21. joed

    Cavity search?

    if one failed to provide those?

    Is the person without any place on the terror watch list?

    Parody

  22. A Ghost
    Black Helicopters

    This is not about security

    It is about population control. Compliance of the masses.

    I was publicly humiliated over ten years ago, just going to Berlin. They made me take my belt off and my trousers fell down. It's happened to quite a few people. Pretty funny. Waddling like a penguin, trying to juggle my laptops through the machines, with a North Face Rucksack full of blank CDs (I left the kiddie porn in the house, I'm no mug!).

    There was one bloke behind me that did not like the fact the customs were taking so long to check out my computer equipment, so he got a bit annoyed with me and jumped in front, after verbally abusing me. That guy still doesn't know how close he came to a serious fucking beating. I have impulse control though, unlike him, and he lived to fight another day, until he did it to someone, who is not so in control of their adrenaline surges.

    You see, he wanted to attack them, but he could not, so he attacked me (in a not so passive-aggressive manner). To attack them meant full on defeat for him, where as I was a soft target. Maybe I would kick back, maybe I wouldn't - he wagered I wouldn't - and he was right, but for the wrong reasons. One of those bullies that gets his own way, until one day he doesn't, like that bloke who murdered his beautiful little daughter recently and got life.

    Traveling should not be full of these hormonal rushes and surges. It's hard enough anyway. Jet Lag (that's just after the train delays from Paddington that put you into a different time zone). Lost your passport. Etc. etc.

    I found that getting drunk and a bit lairy actually helped, as no one really wants you to kick off, it's just extra work for them, and no terrorist is gonna be so stupid as to get larupped before boarding a plane. I wouldn't recommend this line of 'attack' now though.

    No fucking way would I go to the States. Funny, because I would actually like to go and live there and start a new life for myself. Teaching kids computers, musical instruments. Oh and I have a vocational outlook as well where I have pledged the rest of my life to look after the sick and the dying.

    But treating me like a cunt, does not endear me to you ol' land of the free home of the brave.

    I don't hate you. I pity you. And it's not because of your freedoms. It's because you have no fucking freedom at all anymore. Trump will win and then the shit will really hit the fan. I hope. All legal and above board.

    I'm a Trump supporter by the way. But maybe not for the reasons you imagine. :-)

    Bring it on. Indeed.

    Babylon's burning, Babylon's burning.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Horrible Experiences...

    * Title says it all, but not going into more detail after reading that Orwellian piece!

    * Just really nasty experiences with customs & immigration @ USA (and UK also).

    * I'm on the friendly nation list supposedly, no threat, so what's up with that?

    * My advice... There are many other amazing places in the world to visit...

    * Why not 'tear it up' somewhere else... (No need to follow the herd)...

  24. Mephistro Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Visiting America?

    No, never!

  25. DrXym Silver badge

    Ah the joys of CBP

    I recently entered America (still there) and was treated to nearly 2 hours in a queue as people were greeted with 20 rows of US customs posts with only 3 of them open. Of course to "speed up" the process they had some electronic kiosks to complete some steps of immigration except they roped them all off for some other flight to use and not us.

    As a final kick in the balls when I return to the UK I'll probably get another 2 hour queue thanks to their equally bullshit e-borders system which can't cope with families.

    And that's on top of the inconvenience and bother of ESTA. The only faint praise I can give to their system was it was slightly less awful than Australia's electronic visa system which takes about 20 minutes a person to complete and only stops short of asking for a stool sample.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ah the joys of CBP

      I recently went to the UK. There were 6 staff, 3 of them helping people trying to get through the automatic gates (oh the incompetence of Jacqui Smith revisited, so many desks empty replaced by automated systems that don't work and people don't want to use. They even have a woman just to push people into the biometrics channel when she spots a biometric passport, and they have a desk allocated to people who try to get through that channel but the system fails to let them through). A long queue, wasn't anywhere near 2 hours, but then it was early morning and I was in the much shorter 'Brit' queue.

      I see a family get part way through the electronic system, their kid couldn't use the machine, a split unhappy family with kid on the wrong side of the gates and no-one to guide him to the bloke who fixes this shit up.

      Handed in our passports, man reads long long long paragraph on his screen, I try to read what's written on my file from a reflective badge he has, but fat chance... I see a few short fields, and a long field filled with black words. Thinks to self, "shouldn't I be able to read my own file? I bet a local community support officer can pull up more government data on me, than I'm allowed to see.". In the olden days he would just have the valid legal passport and no distracting private info to read through, now though he asks if I'm here for another family visit.

      Got my bags... very slow how spread out is this airport?! My bag had been broken into, nothing taken, zip lock bust, the USB charger in that bag seems to have changed from the 1.55A model to the 2A model... *a free upgrade!?*... this one has Russian writing on it but is otherwise identical. How did they know I wanted to upgrade that charger?!

      Visit friends, Smartphone gets a 'custom OS' when connected to friends Wifi. Friend is a politico, busy campaigning on Brexit side.... oh right you lot are having a Brexit vote, that explains a lot. Does his phone need charging because I have this handy new charger?!

      Finally get out via Heathrow, get the lane with the miserable guard who insists on opening every bag. No it's not literally a tin of "toxic waste".

      Was "nanny state" now "stasi state".

    2. Dave 15

      Re: Ah the joys of CBP

      2 hours, only 2 hours, you were in one of their efficient airports.

      Going into seatac a few years back (with family... including 4 year old) we spent 11 hours in immigration... one massive queue of several jumbos and one guy... as usual reading not just the green card answers but each question in case he had forgotten.

      They eventually added one more guy... but ONLY the people from the next plane were allowed to go to that queue.... the rest of us had to stay obediently in line... they have NO idea (government employees are the thickest in the world).

      But, yes, we have our own hell hole airports... anyone been through Stansted recently? They moved the passport control BACK because the queues were so long... no, they didn't add more people, or faster kit, or anything, just made the queue space bigger. Thus they can get a full 4 hours worth of queue in the arrivals hall (they leave any more on the plane... ever wondered why it takes so long to get the stairs sometimes?).

      The input to Stansted is also all messed up. The queues for the scanners are so so long (especially on Friday evening) that they have installed metal barriers and more queue pointers (no, they still only man upto 40% of the scanners, never any more). Of course you might say this is safer than letting anyone on the plane, but those queuing have rucksacks on, suitcases... none of which have been checked at this point. Everyone hemmed in by metal barriers and one way gates... no escape... lovely terrorist target.

  26. Bob 18

    Is this so wrong-headed?

    Sorry, I'm with the Feds on this one. LA isn't so desperate for cash that we need obnoxious morons like that Irish kid in our country. Let him come back when he's a little more mature and ready to take things more seriously --- and less likely to "destroy" something, such as a car, a random pedestrian, a plate glass window, someone's head with a beer bottle, etc.

    Many claims are made here that people don't publish nefarious activity on their Facebook pages. But experience with people who have committed violent, heinous crimes shows that's not true. After most big shooting, a look at the perp's FB page reveals shocking stuff. Rarely does violence just come "out of nowhere." Moreover, friends don't lie: the Feds can tell a lot about you from the company you keep. If half of your best friends are on a Terrorism Watch List, then that will raise a big red flag --- regardless of what you do or do not say on FB.

    If you don't want government official trolling your social media accounts... then don't post on social media. Privacy is still a right, albeit one that people seem more than willing to give up for next to nothing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is this so wrong-headed?

      If you don't want government official trolling your social media accounts... then don't post on social media.

      Yep, I'd agree with you on that front. Now, perhaps you'd like to consider this. Do they take a declaration of "I don't use social media" on face value, or are you required to prove beyond all reasonable doubt?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Is this so wrong-headed?

        Yeah no social media, no newspaper articles, no blogs no free expression, no free expression at all.

        It's called a "chilling effect" and many of us are getting cold.

        So now everything you read or write can be scrutinized by some brain-dead stormtrooper on a cold, rainy night. Make a noise, stand up for your rights, and miss your flight.... ahh the sweet air of freedom..... It's so good to be home.

    2. Bloodbeastterror

      Re: Is this so wrong-headed?

      "a look at the perp's FB page reveals shocking stuff"

      So, with the massive computing power of the NSA/FBI computers, and the fact that they have unfettered access to all data, public or otherwise, why aren't they picking these nutcases off the street for investigation *before* they commit their atrocities?

      And yet they deliberately and stupidly misinterpret an innocent (if misguided) attempt at juvenile humour to the point that they kick the author out of their country? Really...?

      I know that this unbelievable level of imbecility isn't confined to the US (we had our own "Robin Hood Airport" event a couple of years ago) but really, *must* they be so wilfully cretinous?

      1. Ian Emery Silver badge

        Re: Is this so wrong-headed?

        Government service "Orientation" includes a compulsory trepanning and/or frontal lobotomy; which is why so many of them come across as dumb-fucks.

        Ré an earlier post about China being more respectful of visitors privacy - that may well be the truth; on my visits to China I have always been treated with respect at the airports, even when my suitcase set off their chemical explosives detector they were almost apologetic about asking to search it.

        (It was some Cheddar cheese I was smuggling in, as the only cheese I had found on previous trips was yank muck).

      2. Dave 15

        Re: Is this so wrong-headed?

        but really, *must* they be so wilfully cretinous?

        I think you misunderstand, I don't think this is an intelligent person deciding to be a cretinous obstructive .... I think these people really are cretins.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is this so wrong-headed?

      @ "LA isn't so desperate for cash that we need obnoxious morons like that Irish kid in our country."

      No, its already has its share of intolerant obnoxious people, Bob. It doesn't need any more of you.

      "Many claims are made here that people don't publish nefarious activity on their Facebook pages. But experience with people who have committed violent, heinous crimes shows that's not true."

      aka "Hindsight bias", whenever there's a crime, they go look at everything said and re-interpret it in the light of the new deed. So if this guy got into trouble, people like you would interpret "trash LA" literally, even if at the time its clearly meant metaphorically.

      This is the "speech as terror" meme. If your algorithms cannot identify outliers that are domestic terrorists & criminals, you make the output of your filter the crime. Here their filter cannot determine metaphors, so the metaphor is treated as literal and a "speech = deed = crime" rule applied.

      Today its applies to British allies, tomorrow it will apply to Americans, i.e. you.

      TSA: "watch what you say Americans, if you want to cross a border, your words might count against you."

  27. John Tserkezis

    What if I have no accounts with Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn?

    Will the cavity searches continue as per normal?

    1. MrDamage

      Re: What if I have no accounts with Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn?

      Yes, they will continue, but you will have to be satisfied with just one or two fingers up, instead of the horde of thumbs up your comments may bring.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'murican airports

    Decide to go on holiday to America.

    Plane lands at JFK airport, all the American passengers start clapping as the plane comes to a stop GOOD JAAAB, GOOD JAAAB CLAPCLAPCLAP.

    Hamburgers start falling out of the overhead compartments. American passengers start paying tips to the other passengers based on their in-flight performance. Clapping intensifies fireworks and streamers burst everywhere.

    F*ck this, quickly make my way to the exit of the plane other amiercans also making way to the exit they see the captain "GOOD JAAAB, YOU WERE GREAT, AMAZING FLIGHT SIR, GOOD JAAAAAB".

    Enter the terminal building hamburger music starts playing greeted by an immigration officer he already knows my name, age, address and the exact time (to the second) i took my last shit because NSA.

    Still hear faint clapping and screams of "good jaaaab" coming from down the other way. The immigration officer says i need a cavity search he sticks his fat sausage fingers into my arse i'm in so much pain, his fingers are easily as girthy as a pringles tin.

    OK SIR, GOOD JAAAB WE'RE ALL CLEAR HERE hands me a 20% tip. Walk out of the cavity search room and are greeted to a round of applause from a group of overweight americcans GOOOOOD JAAAAAB.

    1. sjaddy
      Trollface

      Re: 'murican airports

      Think Freud would have great fun with your dreams!

    2. Dave 15

      Re: 'murican airports

      Problem is... decide to have holiday in New Zealand, don't pay quite enough attention and find that the plane stops for fuel... go through the whole rigmarole above to stand in a room (without even a coffee) for half a hour before being herded back to the plane... ok I guess the concrete room is literally in America, but really? Not even an exit door for emergencies!

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think it'll be okay...

    ...As long as they don't think to ask about my El Reg username.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: I think it'll be okay...

      Oh, don't worry. They don't do https so it's easy for a gov resolve your email address to your El Reg username. And the posting history is wide open to everyone anyway, no need to be logged in first to read it.

  30. bombastic bob Silver badge

    because, you can't "profile" a terrorist

    Why act so insane?

    Because they're PROBABLY under orders to inspect ANYONE and EVERYONE in unnecessarily intrusive ways, if there's any truth to ANY of this. Because, Obaka. Because, political correctness. Because, special rights for Islam, because it's NOT christianity. Because, you can't just ask someone coming in from a primarily Islamic country with a lot of ISIS activity about their religion or look them in the eyes to see if they MIGHT be terrorists, so you have to feel up granny and little 2 year old Suzie for IEDs, and leave the women in burkas and long-bearded men in turbans completely untouched, because, political correctness.

    Yeah, I plan on voting for Trump, so maybe the insanity will stop, and we can star screening SPECIFIC PEOPLE instead of EVERYONE, and if that means PROFILING, so freaking what.

    On behalf of SANE Americans, I apologize for their rudeness.

    (or you can just LIE and say how you NEVER use faceb[ook,itch] or tw[i,a]tter because they are LAME cesspits of wasted bandwidth, INVASIVE of your privacy, and BENEATH YOU. (I could say that, it's true!)

    1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

      Re: because, you can't "profile" a terrorist

      > ... I plan on voting for Trump, so maybe the insanity will stop...

      Uhm, I am afraid you got something wrong here.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: because, you can't "profile" a terrorist

      Er... yes. One can't profile here in the States as it's not politically correct and if it was done, the "racist" card will be played and the media and the SJW's will jump all over it.

      One of hallmarks of Israel's airport security at one time (maybe still is) was to profile. Watch how they act, etc. Instead here in the States, it's equal harassment for all.

  31. Public Citizen

    And what if you are one of the curmudgeons who view "social media" as an utter and complete waste of time and therefore don't use it?

    Given the propensity for the succeeding generation to reject what was popular with the previous generation what's going to be the response when the current infatuation burns out and Facebook et al implodes?

  32. LDS Silver badge
    Devil

    Should we give 'em also our commentard link?

    US border controls could learn a lot reading them...

  33. The Boojum

    The Land of the Free™*

    *Terms and Conditions Apply

  34. Alan Davies

    But my social name isn't my real name

    What's preventing me from not declaring this information?

    1. Ian Emery Silver badge

      Re: But my social name isn't my real name

      They already have all your accounts, they are just checking to see if you are honest enough to declare them/double check they havent missed anything.

      Besides, how much damage could foreign terrorists do, compared to the daily slaughter of innocents by their own gun-crazed citizens??

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: But my social name isn't my real name

      My MIL had an old friend tell her at the age of 75 or so, "I'm not who you think I am".

      Smuggled out of the Ghetto in Eastern Europe as a toddler apparently. You know, the ones guarded with barbed wire, Alsatians, guns and so on.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Last minute addition

    They've found where the real subversives hang out and want your Register username as well.

  36. AndrueC Silver badge
    Joke

    So, the message I'm getting is that having that entry 'Contract Killer' on my LinkedIn profile could be a problem.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge
      Coat

      No... that's ok. Now if it was "freelance terror monger and paedo" you might have a problem.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    this is worrying

    I have no (...) "social media presence" officer.

    Ah, well, step over to this side sir, take a sit on this chair, we need to do a couple of extra checks, nothing to worry about, it will only take a couple of hours... Oh no, don't worry, you'll have a guaranteed flight back on the next available flight. Enjoy US of A while you can...

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    and I note

    that two years ago you spent well over 10 minutes on that whatdoyoucallit online blog, the rugister or something, and then you posted a snarky comment on certain attributes of the Department of Homeland Security's approach to inspecting the "social media identifiers". Moreover, you have NOT disclosed the fact in the I-94 form the abovementioned activity, claiming instead, I quote, "none". This is in direct breach of (...) and therefore (...). Next!

  39. PassiveSmoking

    Why is American security so depending on reading about how much I hate First Bus?

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    servers many purposes....

    1. Gives people the impression something is being done against terrorism

    2. Helps to fill blank spots in the databases that keep track of your associations and political opinions

    3. Enforces the belief that an online presence is required for a trustworthy identity

    4. Reinforces the fear of terrorism and further legitimises invasion of privacy

    5. Gives US goverment a tool to implement foreign policy. E.g. Customs to harass citizens of countries that won't allow US spooks to access their datacentres

    6. Probes the water - on exactly how much people are willing to put up with.

    7. Demonstrates power - e.g. Making people comply - despite everyone knowing how irrelevant these methods are in fighting terrorism

    1. boatsman

      Re: servers many purposes.... == whatsapp already did

      that :

      your phonebook is whatsapp's, and thus the USA government agencies already have

      the social fabric of 700 million ppl PLUS their phonebook connections:

      practically, that is everyone.......

      wether you use whatsapp or not, does not matter. someone else has you in their phonebook who does.....

  41. Baldy50

    Brill!

    Well I don't need to bother commenting on this issue as anyone who has read any of my posts it would be obvious as to my thoughts on this subject, but I have however enjoyed reading yours.

    On topic I'd be more worried about an employer wanting that info!

  42. hi_robb

    All I can say is.

    #Fuckoff

  43. Nameless Faceless Computer User

    ... because terrorists would obviously announce their evil intentions on their Twitter feed before crossing the boarder.

  44. Ol'Peculier
    Pint

    "Have you ever participated in persecutions directed by the Nazi government or Germany; or have you ever participated in genocide?"

    There is also the "are you travelling to the USA to commit an act of terrorism?". As for the ESTA, I came back from Canada last year via O'Hare and had to complete, and pay for, it and I never left the airport.

    I love America, have stayed with friends in various states, but going through immigration gives me the creeps every time - I was even asked once which states I was visiting. Not easy when doing a coast-to-coast road trip, we hit 14 of 'em.

    because it's driven me to it as soon as out of the airport......------>

  45. Robert E A Harvey

    which ones

    I have 4 twitter accounts, one of which I only use for recieving winter driving condition reports, and it would not be hard to make more than on Fzcebook account

  46. goodjudge

    Twatter and US border staff

    Two organisations to which the words "rational thought" and "common sense" are utterly unknown. In combination, what could possibly go wrong?

  47. boatsman

    naturally, criminals / terrorists are not

    going to get caught by their own admission.

    the sole purpose of the questions on admission / visa requests is to force the criminal/terrorist to tell lies. Lying is not allowed, and thus the USA has a legal ground to deport or arrest the person.

    the social media handle is just another addition: we do or do not like you, but we certainly do not like your facebook friends....

  48. Keith Glass
    Trollface

    When can us Yanks. . .

    . . . .vote for DHSexit ???

    1. Updraft102 Silver badge

      Re: When can us Yanks. . .

      When can us vote for anything?

  49. Michael Habel Silver badge

    Did I miss the law...

    That states that I can only have the One SMA, and that I shall sell my entire life to it peacemeal? Or had they arseclowns even co soldered the fact that I could have a SMA dedicated to Fluffy Kittens, and another which shall not be disclosed, for internal use only?

  50. SoloSK71
    FAIL

    Logical impossibilities

    How do you *prove* you *do not* have one of these (or even any) social media accounts?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Unhappy

      Re: Logical impossibilities

      You can't prove it, therefore you must be lying and hence a terrorist.

  51. Kane Silver badge
    Facepalm

    So....

    "It will be an optional data field to request social media identifiers to be used for vetting purposes, as well as applicant contact information,"

    Uh-huh.

    "Collecting social media data will enhance the existing investigative process and provide DHS [Department of Homeland Security] greater clarity and visibility to possible nefarious activity and connections by providing an additional tool set which analysts and investigators may use to better analyze and investigate the case."

    But doesn't this require the bad guys™ to fill in your "optional" data fields? Who are, by definition, bad guys™ and so are less likely to provide that information. Which means the only info you have is on law abiding citizens.

    "But, but...."

    Yeah, I know, they might not always be law abiding citizens, in which case you've got the jump on them.

  52. Updraft102 Silver badge

    I feel much safer knowing this.

    We all know those terrorists are using social media to promote their cause and communicate with one another. Now those terrorists are going to be identified and caught before they can do anything. It's foolproof!

    I mean, It's not like they could come here and *not* give the agents the names of the terrorist Twitter accounts they've used, right? We could just ask them if they are coming here to blow things up or shoot a bunch of people, which seemed like the perfect solution for a while, but eventually someone realized that the terrorists could lie about it. But the thing about asking about social media-- it's genius, because no terrorists are going to think to lie about THAT. They wouldn't begin to have the wherewithal to make a dummy Twitter or Facebook account just to give to the government goons.

    /eyeroll

    It's all security theater... of the absurd.

  53. Joefish
    Mushroom

    Dear Mexico,

    Could you please just make sure that wall goes all the way round?

  54. chivo243 Silver badge

    I have none of these

    I don't have a login for FB Twitter, LI. How can I prove that I don't go in for this sort of horseplay?

    Is our beloved El Reg forum a social notworking?

    1. moiety

      Re: I have none of these

      Not exactly social as nobody wants anybody else on their lawn. It's networking though.

  55. Aodhhan

    What, so they can blame another Benghazi on one of our videos?

    This is what we need, to have a political party which lies, misleads and insists everyone else is uneducated and clueless wants to get access to my social media. Yeah, that's great.

    The next time a terrorist does something, they can then randomly find something on your Facebook, Twitter, etc. page and blame it on the video you posted of your child playing baseball instead of soccer.

  56. a_mu

    what about employees ?

    if a company sends an employee to the states,

    can the company require the employee to fill in these details if it becomes law ?

    If the employee does not want to give these details, and says he won't go, where does his job stand ?

  57. CommanderGalaxian
    Facepalm

    Well that's gonna slow everything up...

    That's ISIS screwed then, it'll take the average operative several hours to run through their lists of sock puppet accounts.

  58. Baldy50

    A bit orfff base but!

    As it was Independence day yesterday, did a bit of reading and came up with this.

    http://www.alternet.org/culture/o-say-can-you-see

    History is written by the victor as our own history as clearly proven.

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