Filmmakers sue State Department over social media surveillance rules

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

A group of filmmakers have sued the US government for making visa applicants hand over details about their social media accounts. The lawsuit argues that the requirement unconstitutionally discourages applicants from speaking online — and, conversely, discourages people who post political speech from trying to enter the US.

The US government has ramped up social media surveillance as part of President Donald Trump’s “extreme vetting” of immigrants. After initially asking a subset of applicants to provide information voluntarily, the State Department recently began requiring most visa applicants to list all social media accounts they’ve used in the past five years.

This lawsuit, filed by the Doc Society and the International Documentary…

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