U.S immigration officers can peek into the social media accounts of foreigners seeking entry to the United States and they can do this by using fictitious accounts.

USCIS Officers Now Allowed To Create Fake Social Media Accounts

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officers can now make fake social media accounts they can use to monitor information that individuals who seek visas, green cards, and U.S. citizenships post on social media.

Many social media platforms limit access to social media activity of its users without an account.

Officers are previously prohibited from creating fake profiles, but the policy is reversed via an updated Homeland Security Department review of potential privacy issues, which was posted online on Friday, Aug. 30.

In a statement, the USCIS said that fake accounts and identities can make it easier for investigators to find potential evidence of fraud or security concerns involving people who want to enter the country.

The State Department started to require U.S. visa applicants to submit their social media usernames in June amid efforts to enhance the screening of potential immigrants and visitors.

Review Of Social Media Accounts Has Limitations

Officers in the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate of the agency will conduct the review of the social media accounts of those flagged as requiring further investigation.

The officers, however, can only review publicly available social media available to all users on the platform. They are not allowed to "friend" or "follow" an individual and have to undergo yearly training.

They are neither allowed to interact with users on social media sites and can only passively review information.

Violations Of Facebook And Twitter's Terms Of Use

Interestingly, Facebook and Twitter prohibit impersonation or pretending to be somebody else, as stated in their terms of use.

The two social media companies recently shut down accounts suspected of being associated with the Chinese government, which uses the platforms using fake identifies for its information operations.

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