USCIS looks at applicants' Facebook pages?

FOIA request shows that USCIS is using some new methods to detect fraud

From the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital civil liberties group based in San Francisco, has received information through a federal Freedom of Information Act request documenting how U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services uses social networking sites to investigate petitions for citizenship.


EFF obtained a June 20 Citizen and Immigration Services memo shedding insight into how social networking sites are used by agencies and what kind of individual information can be taken from them...

"Department of Homeland Security sources said that the department may use publicly available information posted to a citizenship applicant’s Facebook page to determine if they are lying to the government about their marital status."

Full article is here:

Here's the interesting part of the memo in question:

Generally, people on these sites speak honestly in their network because all of their friends and family are interacting with them via lM's (Instant Messages), Blogs (Weblog journals), etc. This social networking gives FDNS an opportunity to reveal fraud by browsing these sites to see if petitioners and beneficiaries are in a valid relationship or are attempting to deceive CIS about their relationship. Once a user posts online, they create a public record and timeline of their activities. In essence* using MySpace and other like sites is akin to doing an unannounced cyber "site-visit" on a petitioners and beneficiaries.