A USCIS internal memo is circulating where the fraud detection folks give lessons on how Facebook, MySpace and similar sites work and how they are a treasure trove of personal information on applicants. This paragraph from the memo is just creepy:
The Internet has made it inreasingly easier for people to get connected with each other whether that is with long-distance family, friends, or to find new loves and friendships. Social networking sites are designed to allow people to share their creativity, pictures and information with others. Sometimes people do this to find romance, sometimes they do it to find friends with similar interests, and sometimes they do it to keep in touch with family. Narcissistic tendencies in many people fuels a need to have a large group of "friends" link to their pages and many of these people accept cyber-friends that they don't even know. This provides an excellent vantage point for FDNS to observe the daily life of beneficiaries and petitioners who are suspected of fraudulent activitieys.
In essence, using MySpace and other like sites is akin to doing an unanncounced cyber "site-visit" on petitioners and beneficiaries.
The memo is vague in terms of how USCIS examiners are to find information. Are they to set up fake identities and attempt to friend the "narcissistic" individuals who are indiscreet in who they accept as friends? Or are they just looking for information that is publicly available?
I'm guessing that examiners who have gotten a lot less busy in the last few years (noticed all those extra requests for evidence being issued?) are now going to have an excuse to play around a lot more on Facebook during work time. Ah, our taxdollars at work.
USCIS and Facebook