United States: Administration Wrong to Target Immigrants, Social Media

Washington

In response to the Department of Homeland Security’s announced plan to expand the monitoring of social media and some other online activity of immigrants to include naturalized citizens as well as immigrants who have legal status as permanent residents, Freedom House issued the following statement:

The administration’s plan to collect publically available online material of naturalized Americans would give them second class citizenship status,” said Michael J. Abramowitz, president of Freedom House. “This expanded monitoring would put all immigrants in a different, suspect category from native-born citizens, undermining fundamental guarantees of equality for all under the law. We have seen some of the world’s most repressive governments use the monitoring of social media as a weapon against their critics, including in China and Iran. The plan by the Department of Homeland Security would erode citizens’ right to anonymity and the fundamental guarantee of freedom of speech to all.”

The United States is rated Free in Freedom in the World 2017, Free in Freedom of the Press 2017, and Free in Freedom on the Net 2016.

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

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