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Free Expression, Privacy & Data

Weighing in on the DHS Visa Lifecycle Vetting Initiative

On behalf of the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT), I am writing to urge you to stop the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from using unreliable and discriminatory social media monitoring techniques to deny immigration benefits and generate deportation leads.

DHS is currently seeking a vendor to engage in collection and machine-learning analysis of social media posts to automatically flag 10,000 people per year—inside the country and abroad—for deportation investigations and denial of immigration benefits (such as visas). This program, formerly known as the “Extreme Vetting Initiative,” is a serious threat to civil rights, privacy, and free speech. I urge you to do everything in your power to stop this ill-considered effort.