US visa applicants could be required to hand over their social media passwords before being allowed into the country.
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said on Tuesday that the measure was being considered as part of an effort to screen people who could pose a security threat.
Like Donald Trump’s travel ban, the move would primarily be under consideration for visitors from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
These include Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.
Kelly told a hearing of the House of Homeland Security Committee: “We’re looking at some enhanced or some additional screening.
“We may want to get on their social media, with passwords.
“It’s very hard to truly vet these people in these countries, the seven countries... but if they come in, we want to say, what websites do they visit, and give us your passwords. So we can see what they do on the internet.”
He added: “If they don’t want to cooperate, then they don’t come in to the United States.”
No decision has yet been made, but tighter screening will be implemented in the future, Kelly said.
He said that if people “truly want to come to America, then they will cooperate”, adding: “If not, next in line.”
Trump’s travel ban is currently in the hands of the federal appeals court after a federal judge blocked the US President’s ban over the weekend.