April 06, 2017 11:46
U.S. President Donald Trump's threatened "extreme vetting" of foreign visitors could include forcing them to reveal their social media passwords, mobile phone contacts and financial data, the Wall Street Journal said Tuesday.
The measures would apply not only to visitors from Middle Eastern countries Trump has been trying to blacklist but also Korea and 37 other countries that are exempt from entry visas.
The daily said U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson already told all American diplomatic missions last month to check the travel records, employment data over the last 15 years, telephone numbers, e-mail and social media information of all visa applicants.
"Extreme vetting" was one of Trump's noisiest campaign pledges, even though the U.S. already has some of the most stringent admission rules in the world.
Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly told a Senate hearing in February that visa applicants who fail to provide full information will not be able to enter the U.S.
It is unclear when the measures will be implemented. The WSJ predicted that Congress and civic groups will protest against invasions of privacy and other violations of basic rights, and foreign countries could implement retaliatory measures making it tougher for Americans to enter their borders.
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