“Widespread” DHS Use of Fake Social Media Profiles

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regularly uses fake social media profiles to collect information on noncitizens, according to an article in Law360 (subscription required), based on internal documents obtained by the Brennan Center for Justice.

The documents were released in reply to the Center’s 2020 Freedom of Information Act suit. The documents show that DHS agents investigating criminal and immigration identities hid their identities while using social media such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter.

This practice raises privacy concerns, according to the Center. It may also violate the terms of service of the social media platforms.

A handbook governing Homeland Security Investigations’ undercover activities is secret, the Center said.

For best practices in anticipating government searches of your social media, luggage, and electronic devices, see our firm’s tips here.

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