The US, social media and the beginnings of the surveillance state

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So, as you may know or not know, the US state department proposed that visitors to the US should have their social media accounts vetted. These measures are building up on those introduced during the presidency of Obama and could possibly affect up to 15 million visa-applicants. While some say this could increase security, others say this is a step to inhibit free speech online.

I personally agree with the latter. I don't think the TSA could find out anything that the NSA wouldn't know already anyway. Also, I think people might censor themselves when talking about certain matters online, as nobody knows with certainty what qualifies as offensive content. For example, I wouldn't have started this thread if I had had any plans to visit the US in the foreseeable future.

Even worse, I think this kind of censorship could seep over into everyday life, for average Americans as well as for anyone else. Would you criticize, say the US government if you had reason to believe that any political comment online could somehow affect your personal life or your career? I don’t know about you, but this sounds like the beginnings of a surveillance state to me.

What do you think? Am I overreacting? Do you share my concerns?
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