An Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) federal project is trying to make President Trump\u2019s \u201cextreme vetting\u201d program for immigrants to the U.S. a reality. It is seeking help from tech firms to create a program that can \u201cdetermine and evaluate an applicant\u2019s probability of becoming a positively contributing member of society, as well as their ability to contribute to national interests\u201d as well as predict \u201cwhether an applicant intends to commit criminal or terrorist acts after entering the United States.\u201dThe background information posted with the ICE\/HSI solicitation explained that Homeland Security\u2019s Counterterrorism and Criminal Exploitation Unit (CTCEU) is the only national unit \u201cdedicated to the enforcement of nonimmigrant visa violations.\u201d It says it reviews \u201cthe immigration status of known and suspected terrorists, by combating criminal exploitations of the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), and by leveraging HSI\u2019s expertise with partnering agencies in identifying national security threats.\u201dOf the more than one million violator leads annually, CTCEU sends about 8,400 cases to HIS for investigation. The current system has numerous pitfalls, such as a lack of continuous vetting process on people with immigration visas, as that supposedly creates \u201csignificant risk in ICE\u2019s ability to identify emerging risks, such as radicalization, that may occur after an individual arrives in the United States.\u201d CTCEU also says the screening and vetting process fails to \u201cconduct in-depth analysis or to permit the development of richer case files that would provide high-value derogatory information to further investigations or support any prosecution.\u201dPart of this new \u201cextreme vetting\u201d program is aimed at getting rid of the backlog, but what the government is seeking breaks down into six tasks: vetting and screening, lead generation, social media exploitation, providing training to the government, statistical and data review support, and additional CTCEU reports. The vendor must be able to screen visa electronic applications, \u201cover 1.5 million records annually,\u201d at high speeds.Social media exploitationSome of the more interesting aspects of what the government is seeking is found via the question and answer documents. Quite a few of the interested vendors\u2019 questions centered around the task of social media exploitation, as contractors are to be able to \u201canalyze and apply techniques to exploit publicly available information, such as media, blogs, public hearings, conferences, academic websites, social media websites such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, radio, television, press, geospatial sources, internet sites, and specialized publications with intent to extract pertinent information regarding targets, including criminals, fugitives, nonimmigrant violators, and targeted national security threats and their location.\u201dThe answer to an emailed question lists 19 government databases currently used by CTCEU\/VSP during the vetting process. One of those, TECS, has seven specific databases that are queried.The government said it would provide keywords, terms and criteria for criminal and background information searches. Although this new system would mine only publicly available information, the government said \u2014 in response to a question about mining info from the dark net and closed forums \u2014 it did \u201chave an interest in exploring those areas.\u201dSometimes what is not said is nearly as interesting as what is said. For example, responses will be \u201cdiscussed later\u201d as to whether or not the government wants to conduct continuous vetting on lawfully admitted permanent residents (LPRs).The presolicitation announcement was posted in June, industry day meetings occurred in July, and vendors were to submit their responses by August 1.Tech firms interested in developing 'extreme vetting' systemThe Interceptlooked at the tech firms interested in building President Trump\u2019s \u201cextreme vetting\u201d program. Sign-in sheets from a recent ICE\u00a0\u201cindustry day\u201d for companies interested in building a new tool for the program indicate both large and small firms were interested, including IBM, Booz Allen Hamilton, LexisNexis, SAS and Deloitte.The revelation created ripples, including corporate watchdog group SumOfUs bashing IBM. The publicly released statement reads:IBM\u2019s enthusiasm in building an advanced computer system to operationalize Trump\u2019s \u2018extreme vetting\u2019 policy is a sick display of moral bankruptcy and corporate greed.IBM is no stranger to aiding oppressive regimes \u2014 let us not forget the company\u2019s role in helping Nazi Germany create systems that helped in the atrocities of the Holocaust. The irony, it seems, is lost on IBM\u2019s executives, as the company quite literally signs up to partner with Trump to make the civil rights violations of his wildly racist \u2018extreme vetting\u2019 policy a reality.Trump is not a normal president, and this is not a business-as-usual moment. By seeking to build technology systems that bring Trump\u2019s ugly\u00a0\u2018extreme vetting\u2019 agenda to life, IBM is complicit in endangering our communities and our democracy. We urge IBM to pledge to not partner with the Trump administration and help execute his troubling \u2018extreme vetting\u2019 agenda. IBM must to learn from its ugly past and take a side.Mission creep after vetting system is developedNot everyone may see the interest in digging into Trump\u2019s hard-line agenda for immigration and what the vetting of immigrants is to include. However, while the private system the government is seeking may be pointed at extreme vetting today, all agencies are affected by mission creep. Someday the system might be pointed at other individuals or groups that make the government feel threatened. If for no other reason, knowing the capabilities of what is being developed should interest you \u2026 someday it might be pointed at you.