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The United States is now asking visitors for social media handles

The US government is now requesting social media information from visitors seeking to enter the country.

A new version of the ESTA form, which must be filled in by visitors from countries within the Visa Waiver Program prior to making the trip, asks folks to enter usernames from online accounts.

The request asks travelers to “enter information associated with your online presence,” while a drop down menu up brings up options like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+. Heck, even GitHub makes the list.

Related: The Snooper’s Charter – What you need to know

Thankfully the social media section of the form is not compulsory (yet) and it’s unlikely many visitors will be in any rush to hand over their online handles to the United States government.

The proposal was approved by the US Department of Homeland Security on December 19, Politico reports.

The change, which is designed to help the government spot terrorists, had been opposed for months by critics, including a coalition of tech giants inching Google, Facebook and Twitter.

The Internet Association said the change could “have a chilling effect on use of social media networks, online sharing and, ultimately, free speech online.”

It appears those warnings were unheeded.

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Would you be willing to hand the US your online usernames? Share your comments below.

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