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DHS is Using Fake Social Media Profiles to Investigate Immigrants

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The Homeland Security Department is using fake social media accounts to run background checks on people hoping to settle in the U.S., though at least one social media company plans to fight the practice.

Under the updated policy, U.S. Customs and Immigration Services can create “fictitious accounts or identities” to access social media accounts of people applying for green cards, citizenship, work visas and other immigration benefits. Officers may also collect information on any other individuals associated with the applicant as long as it’s “reasonably relevant” to the investigation, the agency said in a privacy impact assessment released Friday.

Beyond background checks, officers are also permitted to use fake profiles to investigate potential fraud and study broader trends in immigration and the vetting process. 

more at https://www.nextgov.com/policy/2019/09/dhs-using-fake-social-media-profiles-investigate-immigrants/159606/


* ~ * Charles * ~ *
 

I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy.

 

USE THE REPORT BUTTON INSTEAD OF MESSAGING A MODERATOR!

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A Federal judge in California or Hawaii will put a stop to this continuing outrage, never fear.


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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So the DHS is creating FB, IG or Twitter profiles and looking at publicly available information on an applicant?  Seems like due diligence to me.

 

According to the assessment, officers can only use the fictitious accounts to access publicly available information, and they’re not allowed to message, friend or follow any individuals to gather more data. The DHS Privacy Office recommended officers only use such accounts when necessary, noting fake profiles “should not be the default option.” 

 

Personally, I gave up FB (never did IG or Twitter), and Katya never had a desire to do any social media stuff.  At this point, my only social media vice is VJ.


Visa Received : 2014-04-04 (K1 - see timeline for details)

US Entry : 2014-09-12

POE: Detroit

Marriage : 2014-09-27

I-765 Approved: 2015-01-09

I-485 Interview: 2015-03-11

I-485 Approved: 2015-03-13

Green Card Received: 2015-03-24 Yeah!!!

I-751 ROC Submitted: 2016-12-20

I-751 NOA Received:  2016-12-29

I-751 Biometrics Appt.:  2017-01-26

I-751 Interview:  2018-04-10

I-751 Approved:  2018-05-04

N400 Filed:  2018-01-13

N400 Biometrics:  2018-02-22

N400 Interview:  2018-04-10

N400 Approved:  2018-04-10

Oath Ceremony:  2018-06-11 - DONE!!!!!!!

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18 hours ago, Bill & Katya said:

I gave up FB (never did IG or Twitter), and Katya never had a desire to do any social media stuff.  At this point, my only social media vice is VJ.

I never did FB either, no man, but otherwise we are quite similar, si man.

However, Mrs. T-B. does FB heavily and probably other such, so is dissimilar to Mrs. B.


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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  If DHS is using this as a vetting tool to enhance security or gather information I don't have a problem with it. If they start going down routes that look like entrapment or something, which they are known to do, then it would rather not see them use social media at all. I also have a limited profile online (according to all the aggregate information sites who can't find much on me). Even on VJ, I try not to post too much information that would make it easy to identify myself. That's one of the reasons I closed my previous account. Over time you let a few things slip out and all of a sudden somebody knows exactly who you are and starts posting weird stuff. 

 

  At any rate, I could easily picture someone from DHS having an account here and leading the discussion down a road where we may post something questionable, even though we would never actually do such a thing. There have been many posters on here that were good at pushing the right buttons, and also many others who didn't ever seem to realize when their buttons were being pushed.

 

  My opinion on this hasn't changed since it came up in a related topic. Serious criminals don't use social media to discuss plans. People committing immigration fraud or scams are not going to discuss it on facebook. They are going to post all the right things in all the right places. This is most likely going to catch the careless people who do dumb things and post about it. I'm not sure its worth the time and resources in the long run. There are better ways to attack the problem.


995507-quote-moderation-in-all-things-an

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Entrapment via law enforcement is never a good idea, and unless the account is completely open are we then going to get into the territory where an officer pretends to be a 'long lost friend' to obtain access to an account? But I guess, coming at this from a moderator perspective... it is against most website's TOS to create fake user profiles. So how does that square away?


K-1 - AOS & ROC Timeline  - Immigration and the Health Exchange Price of Love in the UK Thinking of Returning to UK?

 

First met: 12/31/04 - Engaged: 9/24/09
Filed I-129F: 10/4/14 - Packet received: 10/7/14
NOA 1 email + ARN assigned: 10/10/14 (hard copy 10/17/14)
Touched on website (fixed?): 12/9/14 - Poked USCIS: 4/1/15
NOA 2 email: 5/4/15 (hard copy 5/11/15)
Sent to NVC: 5/8/15 - NVC received + #'s assigned: 5/15/15 (estimated)
NVC sent: 5/19/15 - London received/ready: 5/26/15
Packet 3: 5/28/15 - Medical: 6/16/15
Poked London 7/1/15 - Packet 4: 7/2/15
Interview: 7/30/15 - Approved!
AP + Issued 8/3/15 - Visa in hand (depot): 8/6/15
POE: 8/27/15

Wedding: 9/30/15

Filed I-485, I-131, I-765: 11/7/15

Packet received: 11/9/15

NOA 1 txt/email: 11/15/15 - NOA 1 hardcopy: 11/19/15

Bio: 12/9/15

EAD + AP approved: 1/25/16 - EAD received: 2/1/16

RFE for USCIS inability to read vax instructions: 5/21/16 (no e-notification & not sent from local office!)

RFE response sent: 6/7/16 - RFE response received 6/9/16

AOS approved/card in production: 6/13/16  

NOA 2 hardcopy + card sent 6/17/16

Green Card received: 6/18/16

USCIS 120 day reminder notice: 2/22/18

Filed I-751: 5/2/18 - Packet received: 5/4/18

NOA 1:  5/29/18 (12 mo) 8/13/18 (18 mo)  - Bio: 6/27/18

Transferred: Potomac Service Center 3/26/19

Approved/New Card Produced status: 4/25/19 - NOA2 hardcopy 4/29/19

10yr Green Card Received: 5/2/19 - Error will need to file I90 >_<

 

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38 minutes ago, Steeleballz said:

I also have a limited profile online (according to all the aggregate information sites who can't find much on me). Even on VJ, I try not to post too much information that would make it easy to identify myself. That's one of the reasons I closed my previous account. Over time you let a few things slip out and all of a sudden somebody knows exactly who you are and starts posting weird stuff. 

I have been doxxed. It was not a pleasant experience. I made the mistake of sharing a lot of information about myself in bits and pieces on a forum that if put together, pointed right at me. Someone got angry that I had used a fake last name on my Facebook profile (not on the forum) and for some reason that meant that my voter registration and political donations were fair game once my real last name was located. Another person threatened to show up at LAX when I was picking my then-fiance when he was flying in from London (thankfully this did not actually happen). I had to shut my account on the forum, take down my FB profile and Twitter, and lie low for a while. Luckily I was already in the process of moving when it all blew up so I just started staying in the new place as soon as I could, because it wasn't yet associated with my name. 

 

I feel safe here talking about fountain pens and cheese and the fact that I live in Berkeley, but I am now wary of talking about the business I'm in because it would be easy to find me. Any pics I post have the EXIF data stripped from them. I'm just not going there again. I have an Instagram that I started a few years ago, but I'm using it mostly for work-related stuff because I'm a chronic oversharer. I do worry occasionally about things I've posted in the immigration-related parts of this forum, like the fact that I have worried that my fiance's role in breaking up my marriage could count against him for good moral character, but I've been told it won't for AOS purposes. Hopefully that is correct.

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57 minutes ago, Steeleballz said:

 

  If DHS is using this as a vetting tool to enhance security or gather information I don't have a problem with it. If they start going down routes that look like entrapment or something, which they are known to do, then it would rather not see them use social media at all. I also have a limited profile online (according to all the aggregate information sites who can't find much on me). Even on VJ, I try not to post too much information that would make it easy to identify myself. That's one of the reasons I closed my previous account. Over time you let a few things slip out and all of a sudden somebody knows exactly who you are and starts posting weird stuff. 

 

  At any rate, I could easily picture someone from DHS having an account here and leading the discussion down a road where we may post something questionable, even though we would never actually do such a thing. There have been many posters on here that were good at pushing the right buttons, and also many others who didn't ever seem to realize when their buttons were being pushed.

 

  My opinion on this hasn't changed since it came up in a related topic. Serious criminals don't use social media to discuss plans. People committing immigration fraud or scams are not going to discuss it on facebook. They are going to post all the right things in all the right places. This is most likely going to catch the careless people who do dumb things and post about it. I'm not sure its worth the time and resources in the long run. There are better ways to attack the problem.

You may be giving folks too much credit for being intelligent.  Heck, there are folks that come on VJ occasionally that straddle the fraud line.


Visa Received : 2014-04-04 (K1 - see timeline for details)

US Entry : 2014-09-12

POE: Detroit

Marriage : 2014-09-27

I-765 Approved: 2015-01-09

I-485 Interview: 2015-03-11

I-485 Approved: 2015-03-13

Green Card Received: 2015-03-24 Yeah!!!

I-751 ROC Submitted: 2016-12-20

I-751 NOA Received:  2016-12-29

I-751 Biometrics Appt.:  2017-01-26

I-751 Interview:  2018-04-10

I-751 Approved:  2018-05-04

N400 Filed:  2018-01-13

N400 Biometrics:  2018-02-22

N400 Interview:  2018-04-10

N400 Approved:  2018-04-10

Oath Ceremony:  2018-06-11 - DONE!!!!!!!

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47 minutes ago, Bill & Katya said:

You may be giving folks too much credit for being intelligent.  Heck, there are folks that come on VJ occasionally that straddle the fraud line.

 

  True, but they are just individuals. I would say they are as likely to be clueless as they are planning something insidious. The large scale fraud operations, though, are not going to get caught on social media.  


995507-quote-moderation-in-all-things-an

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59 minutes ago, laylalex said:

I have been doxxed. It was not a pleasant experience. I made the mistake of sharing a lot of information about myself in bits and pieces on a forum that if put together, pointed right at me. Someone got angry that I had used a fake last name on my Facebook profile (not on the forum) and for some reason that meant that my voter registration and political donations were fair game once my real last name was located. Another person threatened to show up at LAX when I was picking my then-fiance when he was flying in from London (thankfully this did not actually happen). I had to shut my account on the forum, take down my FB profile and Twitter, and lie low for a while. Luckily I was already in the process of moving when it all blew up so I just started staying in the new place as soon as I could, because it wasn't yet associated with my name. 

 

I feel safe here talking about fountain pens and cheese and the fact that I live in Berkeley, but I am now wary of talking about the business I'm in because it would be easy to find me. Any pics I post have the EXIF data stripped from them. I'm just not going there again. I have an Instagram that I started a few years ago, but I'm using it mostly for work-related stuff because I'm a chronic oversharer. I do worry occasionally about things I've posted in the immigration-related parts of this forum, like the fact that I have worried that my fiance's role in breaking up my marriage could count against him for good moral character, but I've been told it won't for AOS purposes. Hopefully that is correct.

 

  Something very simple and innocuous that comes up right away here is filling in a timeline where you put your name and your spouses name and a few important dates. If someone is looking, that already narrows who you are from billions of possible people down to just a few. Now if I post one day that I am in the medical field, and then another day that I collect swords, well just like that you can narrow it down. 

 

  I do suggest now maybe not using real names in the timeline or username unless you are OK with people figuring out who you are. Especially if it's an uncommon name. I had a argument get a little heated one time and had a guy wanting to show up on my doorstep to continue the "discussion". He didn't know who I was, but he could certainly could have narrowed it down using the search function if he was serious. When I was single and a bit younger I didn't care as much about that kind of thing. With a wife and young kids, I don't really want to deal with any nuts showing up at my house.


995507-quote-moderation-in-all-things-an

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20 minutes ago, Steeleballz said:

 

  Something very simple and innocuous that comes up right away here is filling in a timeline where you put your name and your spouses name and a few important dates. If someone is looking, that already narrows who you are from billions of possible people down to just a few. Now if I post one day that I am in the medical field, and then another day that I collect swords, well just like that you can narrow it down. 

 

  I do suggest now maybe not using real names in the timeline or username unless you are OK with people figuring out who you are. Especially if it's an uncommon name. I had a argument get a little heated one time and had a guy wanting to show up on my doorstep to continue the "discussion". He didn't know who I was, but he could certainly could have narrowed it down using the search function if he was serious. When I was single and a bit younger I didn't care as much about that kind of thing. With a wife and young kids, I don't really want to deal with any nuts showing up at my house.

I've been more careful this time -- Layla is NOT my first name, and I haven't started a timeline because, well, we haven't even gotten to AOS yet. But I did use my real first name in the past, and I mentioned my then-fiance's first name often enough, and that I lived in Pasadena, and the exact high school I went to, and what town my fiance was from... what can I say, I was 25 and an idiot. :lol: I kept an online journal that I thought was private but ummmmmmmm this is the internet and stuff can be found. Why anyone would be interested in finding me in real life is beyond baffling to me. I don't even keep any swords at home, which is a LOT more interesting than anything I've got going on at home!

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20 minutes ago, Nature Boy 2.0 said:

"Deport them all, let God sort them out"

Btw, how is the weather in the Northern Marianas Islands? :devil:

Edited by Bill & Katya

Visa Received : 2014-04-04 (K1 - see timeline for details)

US Entry : 2014-09-12

POE: Detroit

Marriage : 2014-09-27

I-765 Approved: 2015-01-09

I-485 Interview: 2015-03-11

I-485 Approved: 2015-03-13

Green Card Received: 2015-03-24 Yeah!!!

I-751 ROC Submitted: 2016-12-20

I-751 NOA Received:  2016-12-29

I-751 Biometrics Appt.:  2017-01-26

I-751 Interview:  2018-04-10

I-751 Approved:  2018-05-04

N400 Filed:  2018-01-13

N400 Biometrics:  2018-02-22

N400 Interview:  2018-04-10

N400 Approved:  2018-04-10

Oath Ceremony:  2018-06-11 - DONE!!!!!!!

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20 minutes ago, Steeleballz said:

 

  Hopefully DHS doesn't mix up Nature Boy 2.0 with that Nature Boy 1.0 guy who used to drive the mods crazy.

We all thought 2.0 would be a better speller and grammarian, but sadly we were mistaken.


Visa Received : 2014-04-04 (K1 - see timeline for details)

US Entry : 2014-09-12

POE: Detroit

Marriage : 2014-09-27

I-765 Approved: 2015-01-09

I-485 Interview: 2015-03-11

I-485 Approved: 2015-03-13

Green Card Received: 2015-03-24 Yeah!!!

I-751 ROC Submitted: 2016-12-20

I-751 NOA Received:  2016-12-29

I-751 Biometrics Appt.:  2017-01-26

I-751 Interview:  2018-04-10

I-751 Approved:  2018-05-04

N400 Filed:  2018-01-13

N400 Biometrics:  2018-02-22

N400 Interview:  2018-04-10

N400 Approved:  2018-04-10

Oath Ceremony:  2018-06-11 - DONE!!!!!!!

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