The Brennan Center recently submitted comments to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Bureau (CBP) on their plan to collect social media information from travelers seeking entry to the United States through the changes to the Arrival and Departure Record (Forms I-94 and I-94W) and Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). As described in the comments, we believe that this policy is poorly conceived, fatally vague, apt to chill speech and reveal private information about travelers that is irrelevant to their suitability for entry to the United States, and likely to consume significant financial and personnel resources to produce little of value. The Brennan Center's comments provide the CBP with a list of this plan's shortcomings. The comments fall into two main categories: unanswered questions, and substantive defects. If appropriately addressed, these comments will provide the public with a much-needed understanding of the inner workings on CBP's proposed changes.
The Brennan Center has previously submitted comments on the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board's (PCLOB) plan to examine counterterrorism and surveillance activities conducted under Executive Order (EO) 12333, and the NSA's surveillance activities under both Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act, and Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Act (FISA), part of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 (FAA).
Update: In October 2016, the Brennan Center for Justice submitted additional comments to DHS/CBP regarding a plan to permit the collection of information from, and expanded routine uses for, social media information from travelers seeking entry to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program and other persons, including U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, whose names are provided to the DHS/CBP as a part of a traveler's Form I-94W or ESTA. Read those comments here.