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DHS Targets Immigrants' Social Media Accounts

Government surveillance of social media is about to get wider — and it’s targeting U.S. immigrants.

Buzzfeed was the first to report The Department of Homeland Security is set to list new regulations into the Federal Register on Oct. 18 that would significantly increase surveillance of social media accounts maintained by U.S. immigrants. This new rule affects all naturalized U.S. citizens and those who hold green cards.

“We think that it is an invasion of privacy. It’s also one more example of the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant agenda," said Alessandra Soler, the Executive Director of the Arizona chapter of the ACLU based in Phoenix. "We’re going to do what we can to shine a spotlight on this and then try to demonstrate that it’s ineffective. It’s singling out a huge group of people to maintain files on what they say. That’s extremely problematic and it’s going to have a chilling effect on free speech."

Soler said this type of dragnet approach to data collection creates more information than authorities can possibly pursue and the ruling lacks transparency as to why such data needs to be collected in the first place.

Tom Maxedon was the host of KJZZ’s Weekend Edition from 2017 to 2024.