Feb 21, 2017

Privacy hawks slam idea of checking social media of foreign visitors

Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly (Matthias Schrader / AP)

A coalition of pro-privacy forces are aghast at the idea of the Department of Homeland Security requiring people entering the country to hand over their social media passwords:

"No government agency should undermine security, privacy, and other rights with a blanket policy of demanding passwords from individuals."

Why now: The groups are responding to comments from new DHS Secretary John Kelly at a congressional hearing earlier this month. "We want to get on their social media, with passwords: What do you do, what do you say?" He added that it was one of multiple ideas on the table.

Key context: Officials started asking for some foreigners to identify their online accounts in the waning days of the Obama administration, Politico reported. But questions about surveillance and immigration have taken on more resonance after Trump banned travel from seven Muslim-majority countries in January.

Go deeper

Robert O'Brien: "I don't think there's systemic racism" in law enforcement

White House national security adviser Robert O'Brien said on CNN's "State of the Union" that he doesn't believe there is "systemic racism" among law enforcement in the U.S., arguing that there's "a few bad apples" that are giving police a bad name.

Why it matters: The mass protests that have swept across the United States are not just a response to the death of George Floyd, but of the dozens of high-profile instances of unarmed black men dying at the hands of police officers over the years.

Atlanta mayor on Trump's riot response: "He speaks and he makes it worse"

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms responded on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday to President Trump's tweets and comments about the mass protests that have swept across the United States, urging him to "just stop talking."

What she's saying: "This is like Charlottesville all over again. He speaks and he makes it worse. There are times when you should just be quiet. And I wish that he would just be quiet."

Black Americans' competing crises

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

For many black Americans, this moment feels like a crisis within a crisis within a crisis.

The big picture: It's not just George Floyd's killing by police. Or the deaths of EMT Breonna Taylor and jogger Ahmaud Arbery. Or the demeaning of birdwatcher Christian Cooper and journalist Omar Jimenez. Or the coronavirus pandemic's disproportionate harm to African Americans. It's that it's all happening at once.