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Congressmen Question Lack of Social Media Vetting Procedures

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Members of the House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security said that DHS should explain the absence of social media screening for individuals applying for US visas.

Migrants, who had applied for asylum in Cyprus, arrive with their belongings at Kokkinotrimithia refugee camp, west of the capital Nicosia, on November 19, 2015, after being transferred from Dhekelia by Cypriot authorities - Sputnik International
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) should explain the absence of social media screening for individuals applying for US visas, members of the House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security said in a letter.

"We would like to better understand why in this high threat environment DHS security screening policy has not kept pace with the dynamic terrorist threat," the letter addressed to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson stated on Thursday. "Social media is a valuable tool that should be leveraged as widely as possible."

The letter, signed by the Committee Chair Michael McCaul and six other congressmen, argued that social media can provide "red flag" information and point at radicalized individuals.

"It is the position of the Committee that an examination of public social media accounts should be a mandatory step before any foreign national from a high risk country (e.g., Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Pakistan, Sudan, and Somalia) is admitted to the United States," the letter said.

Earlier on Thursday, US media reported the DHS had dismissed in 2011 a proposal to strengthen visa applicants’ security screening by vetting their social media accounts.

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