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Tell HN: US Visa application now requires you give old emails and phone numbers
31 points by philtar 5 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 10 comments
In addition to asking for all your social media accounts, they ask for your old email addresses and phone numbers. Is having SMS two factor authentication now a privacy risk? Will activating SMS two factor allow homeland security to find my online accounts from my phone number?

5 years' worth of email addresses is going to be an interesting exercise in futility as I use different mail addresses for any commercial or public entity I communicate with. If I hand them a list of ~2500 mail addresses and tell them that no, I don't have a Facebook/Twitter/Snapchat/Instagram/whatever account they'll just look at me in a think-you're-being-funny-sonny kind of way and deny entrance.

My concern other than the privacy implications is that I have so many throw-away social media accounts that I can't keep track of them. If one of them is discovered because of an old phone number of email address and is considered a valid reason for denial of a visa that would really hurt.

Theoretically a person could create a fake profile of someone they didn't like, and use that to get them denied entry to the US, correct? If the US found the profile they'd demand to know why it wasn't included in the person's application.

"The State Department regulations say people will have to submit social media names and five years' worth of email addresses and phone numbers.

When proposed last year, authorities estimated the proposal would affect 14.7 million people annually." [0]

[0] https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-48486672

Here's the actual policy instead of a news article: https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.g...

"Other questions seek five years of previously used telephone numbers, email addresses..."

... not counting all the people those people emailed or otherwise communicated with, whose information is now queryable by the US government without their consent or knowledge (not that it wasn't before).

All the more reason to use Europe-based email hosting?

Two submissions discussing this topic on HN:

2 days ago, over 70 comments: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20065142

8 hours ago, over 80 comments: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20075608

This is similar to what is required from a USA citizen to obtain a visa to visit Iran.

> Will activating SMS two factor allow homeland security to find my online accounts from my phone number?

Yes. It’s naive to think otherwise. And I wouldn’t be surprised if they can even login into your online account with 2FA enabled with SMS.

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