EPIC Joins Brennan Center Urging DHS Not to Mandate Social Media Disclosure

March 28, 2022

EPIC and the Brennan Center submitted comments in response to the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) request to require Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) applicants to disclose their social media identifiers. The organizations emphasized that federal agencies have not found social media screening to be effective for vetting immigrants and that the policy substantially threatens rights to expression, association, and privacy. The policy of collecting social media identifiers, which originated under President Trump’s Muslim Ban, is also likely to have a disparate impact on minority groups. Finally, the organizations argued that this policy would “contravene[] the Biden administration’s stated commitments to global free expression and privacy.” In 2019, EPIC joined a coalition opposing a DHS proposal to collect social media identifiers from immigrants and travelers, and in 2016 EPIC submitted comments opposing a similar DHS proposal.  

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