Protect our privacy on social media

Starting October 18, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security, will enhance their surveillance of social media usage by immigrants, green card holders, and any foreign-born citizen naturalized after 1944.   By extension, anyone who communicates with one of these ca. 43 million individuals on social media, including family members, friends, and colleagues, will have some of their social media usage tracked as well.  

Examples: Your friend has a green card and you comment on an article he posts -- your comment will be recorded by DHS.  Your mom became a citizen in 1967 and the two of you share a conversation on Facebook - that conversation will be retained by DHS.

DHS already maintains certain types of social media information on immigrants.  This new rule would expand what is kept and how it is used. However, the DHS inspector general issued a report in February 2017 stating that these type of surveillance programs "lack criteria for measuring performance to ensure they meet their objectives," meaning that they can’t tell if we are gaining measurable security for the privacy and freedom of speech that we are giving up.

We must resist this move toward authoritarianism in the US and this attempt to further divide the country along ethnic and racial lines.  

The most direct course of action to resist this effort is to comment on the proposed change online, at the Federal Register website.

After that, please take a moment to write your congress person and ask that they intercede on behalf of Americans, both those born here and those born elsewhere, all of whom deserve privacy and the freedom to speak their minds without fear of retribution.  We've provided a letter for your use, but personalized comments are always best.