US Visa Authorities Monitor Facebook

Hillary Clinton confirmed this week that US Immigration authorities are actively monitoring social networking sites to catch people slipping into America to work without permits.

“We've got to figure out how we're going to be smarter about using technology,” she told a meeting of US officials at the State Department.

“For everybody who is applying for a visa, you just should know that the State Department is on the watch here for Facebook,” she declared.

The warning could have chilling implications for visa-less DJs and journalists attending the upcoming Miami Winter Music Conference with those caught breaking the rules facing harsh treatment in Immigration detention centres.

Guardian freelancer Elena Lappin spoke of her experiences soon after being arrested after she told Immigration officials that she was visiting Los Angeles to carry out some interviews in 2004, resulting in her being locked up and treated like a hardcore criminal.

“Somewhere in central Los Angeles, about 20 miles from LAX airport, there is a nondescript building housing a detention facility for foreigners who have violated US immigration and customs laws. I was driven there around 11pm on May 3, my hands painfully handcuffed behind my back as I sat crammed in one of several small, locked cages inside a security van,” she wrote.

“I was to spend 26 hours in detention. My crime: I had flown in earlier that day to research an innocuous freelance assignment for the Guardian, but did not have a journalist's visa.”

DJ Fergie also found himself trapped in America’s notoriously violent prison system 10 years ago after a drunken prank involving snatching a number plate prompted cops to fling him in a tough Philadelphia jail.

"When I walked in, the other prisoners were all banging on the doors going
'Jerry, Jerry, Jerry', doing that Jerry Springer chant, though fuck knows why," Fergie recalled.

"The guards let me use the phone and as I was using it the prisoners then started chanting 'I'm a chick with a dick and I'm gonna' fuck you up the ass'. I was thinking 'Holy fucking shit, I think I'm in the wrong place here'."

"Next day they transported me to Philadelphia's main prison, The Curran-
Fromhold Prison and I had to wear an orange boiler suit, the lot- I couldn't fucking believe it," he said.

"You get put in a wing of the prison and once you're locked up, you've got to go through a seven day process, starting at the top of the prison in a cell with a big glass door and no beds, with ten prisoners in the cell. You go in one cell one day, then another the next and you just keep moving down the line until you get to the front desk. After seven days, you're then sent up to the Big House (main prison)," he added.

"A prisoner told me if you get put in Ward D don't go because you'll be fucked all night; you'll be raped non-stop", Fergie shuddered.

"I just remember the screw (prison officer) coming to get me on the 7th day thinking 'Fucking hell, my star's getting busted tonight'. But it turned out I'd been bailed out."  (‘Applying for a Visa? Someone Is Reading Your Facebook Page’, more)

Article by Jonty Skrufff (

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