Travelers who want to go to the United States are encountering an insurmountable difficulty at the border. More and more foreigners see how their request to enter the United States is denied due to the activity of their contacts on social networks.
This includes messages, videos or images downloaded on mobile phones but sent by others through Twitter, WhatsApp, Facebook, etc. One of the last most popular cases has been that of Ismail Ajjawi, a 17-year-old Palestinian resident in Lebanon.
Ajjawi, who planned to enter Harvard University, saw how his phone was registered at Boston Logan International Airport. There, immigration employees questioned him about the religious publications of his contacts on social networks and finally canceled his visa, which caused him to be deported.
Immigration employees at the U.S. borders deal with more than 1,100,000 people a day, and an average of 760 are expelled before entering the country. Many of these cases include incorrect documentation or criminal background checks, but phone information is an increasingly prominent reason for expulsion and this information can be something as simple as a photo sent by another person to a group on WhatsApp, as was the case with another Arab student who only had one year left to graduate.
During the past year, immigration employees registered more than 30,000 mobile devices (a figure four times higher than in 2015), something that sometimes occurs without justified suspicion.
In fact, the United States Government began to sue foreigners in June in search of a visa, the obligation to provide their profiles on all social networks, something that is expected to affect 15 million people.
This is not the first time that a government looks inquiringly at the contents of the social networks of its citizens or of people who want to enter the country. The Telegram messaging app was banned in Russia for similar reasons.