Immigration officials have been prohibited from using social media to vet U.S. visa applicants for years due to privacy concerns. Reviewing an applicant’s social media platform(s) could help officials with their research, and the DHS has attempted to implement a social media review in the past. In 2014 alone, the Department of Homeland Security initiated three pilot programs that would allow officials to look at applicants’ social media, but fear of criticism from civil liberties groups kept the prohibition in place.

After the San Bernardino shooting, however, officials say they will review this policy. One of the shooters, Tashfeen Malik, had posted a message to social media declaring ISIS allegiance before the attack. Some argue the attack could have been prevented with social media vetting. According to Marsha Catron, spokesperson for the DHS, the Department is “considering additional ways to incorporate the use of social media review in its various vetting programs” while keeping privacy concerns in mind.

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