The US government wants visitors from Britain to hand over all their electronic details at the border.
The UK is not the only country being targeted by the new rules, but it does show how stupid the new law is going to be.
Trump is considering whether or not to deploy “extreme vetting” practices at airports around the world, which could force tourists from Britain and other countries visiting the US to reveal their mobile phone contacts, social media passwords and financial data.
Travelers who want to enter the US could also face questioning over their ideology. Which means that if you make one joke about the country having an orange president, you could be on the next plane home.
Trump made the “extreme vetting” of foreign nationals to combat terrorism a major theme of his presidential election campaign. But his executive order imposing a travel ban on several Muslim-majority countries has twice been blocked in court.
His antics have already gutted the tourism industry with most people thinking twice before going to the US.
Already tourists from the UK, France, Australia and Japan participate in the visa waiver program, which requires adherence to strict US standards in data sharing, passport control and other factors.
This could require people to hand over their phones so officials can study their stored contacts and possibly other information.
The aim is to “figure out who you are communicating with,” a senior Department of Homeland Security official was quoted as saying. “What you can get on the average person’s phone can be invaluable.”
Applicants will be asked to hand over their social media handles and passwords, so that officials could see information posted privately in addition to public posts, the Wall Street Journal said. Which basically means all those TechEye stories mocking the US will keep me from going to US tech conferences.
The Journal report said the DHS official working on the review indicated that questions under consideration included whether visa applicants believe in so-called honour killings, how they view the treatment of women in society, whether they value the “sanctity of human life” and who they view as a legitimate target in a military operation.
Which is a bit unfair. If they asked me who I would see as a legitimate target, I would be thinking in terms of strategy and see it as an intellectual question and say “Apple headquarters”.