Biometric screening, surveillance drones, social media snooping, license plate readers—all this and extra could be required by new federal laws to develop high-tech spying on U.S. residents and immigrants alike at and close to the U.S. border.

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) launched “the SECURE Act” (S. 2192) on December 5. It borrows liberally from two different federal payments—H.R. 3548 and S. 1757—that EFF opposed earlier this 12 months. Those payments had been respectively launched by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) within the House of Representatives and Sen. John Coryn (R-TX) within the Senate.

Sen. Coryn’s invoice, referred to as the Building America’s Trust Act, raises issues about digital rights, lots of that are prone to be ongoing points in Sen. Grassley’s SECURE Act.

Sen. Coryn’s invoice would require that the Department of Homeland Security:

  • Collect biometric info from all individuals who exit the U.S., together with U.S. and international residents.
  • Collect DNA and different biometric info from “any particular person submitting an software, petition, or different request for immigration profit or standing.”
  • Share biometric details about immigrants with the FBI, Defense Department, and State Department.
  • Review social media accounts of visa candidates from “high-risk international locations.”
  • Deploy drones on the U.S. border.

As we acknowledged in our opposition letter then:

“Any new statutory authority given to the federal government to make sure border safety have to be rigorously balanced to make sure that it doesn’t overreach and violate the privateness of the individuals it intends to guard. In EFF’s view, this invoice doesn’t obtain that stability. Instead, it expands biometric and different high-tech surveillance of U.S. residents and international guests at and close to the U.S. border with out regard to important civil liberties.”

EFF worries that these similar points are at stake in Sen. Grassley’s SECURE Act. And we just lately joined a bunch letter towards the SECURE Act, for the extra motive that it’s going to scale back public scrutiny of high-tech surveillance on the border.

The Department of Homeland Security’s present practices for screening immigrants and U.S. residents wants extreme curbing, not enlargement.

This story initially appeared on the EFF’s weblog.

This article sources info from VentureBeat