David French and Andy McCarthy have already shredded DHS’s patently inane policy against reviewing the publicly available social media of foreigners applying for visas to the United States. I would have hoped that all of those individuals responsible for this infuriating idiocy—a group that apparently includes DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, DHS Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, and Megan Mack, head of DHS’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties—would have had the decency to announce their imminent resignations.
That not having yet happened, I’m pleased to note that the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations will be exploring this matter pronto. Senator Rob Portman, chair of the subcommittee, and Senator Claire McKaskill, its ranking member, have today sent a letter to Jeh Johnson demanding specific information about the policy:
At any point from January 1, 2012, through July 30, 2014, did the Department of Homeland Security have in place any policy or guidance governing the extent to which their various components could access, review, or monitor social media activity of visa applicants as part of the screening process? Please provide a copy of any such policy and any document concerning the rationale for the policy.
At any point from January 1, 2012, through July 30, 2014, did USCIS or ICE request or propose that the Department of Homeland Security adopt a new policy, or revise an existing policy, governing review of social media activity of visa applicants as part of the screening process? If so, please provide documents sufficient to show the details of and rationale for any such request or proposal and the Department’s response to it.
Did the DHS’s Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, Office of Privacy, or Office of General Counsel provide any analysis or recommendations concerning review of social media activity of visa applicants as part of the screening process? If so, please provide that analysis or recommendation.
Any guidance concerning review of social media accounts of visa applicants.