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Free Expression, Government Surveillance

Comments on Agency Information Collection Activities: Electronic Visa Update System

The Center for Democracy & Technology writes to convey our concerns with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposal—to be implemented through U.S. Customs and Border Protection—to ask Chinese recipients of the B-1, B-2, and combination B-1/B-2 visas to provide their social media identifiers on the Electronic Visa Update System (EVUS) form. DHS proposes to ask Chinese visitors completing the EVUS to provide “information associated with [their] online presence,” including the “provider/platform” and “social media identifier” used by the applicant. These appear to be the same prompts that DHS recently added to the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) application for the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).

As we commented in response to the Federal Register notice proposing the change to the VWP application, CDT is deeply concerned that this proposal would invade the privacy and chill the freedom of expression of visitors to the United States and United States citizens.