Roadmap for this talk … Who? Why? How? Gotchyas! FAQ
Who needs/gets a clearance? ONLY the federal government can grant you one Basic concept: “Only people you trust can truly betray you!” #1 rule for obtaining a security clearance: You have to have a NEED for one. You have to hold a position requiring ACCESS to sensitive (or classified or restricted) information. You cannot get one for yourself - need to be “sponsored”
Who needs/gets a clearance? Three categories, in general (supposedly simplified) Confidential (not really anymore) Secret Top Secret Lots of tech jobs in north central WV require clearances (and non-tech ones too) – WHY? Interim clearances have become more common, so a new hire can start performing their job right away.
Why bother? Once you have a security clearance, it is “like gold” New positions will want to hire you since they don’t have to go through the costly and lengthy process Most are pretty well-paying positions Pretty solid job security with a government agency Great union Transfer within (www.usajobs.gov)www.usajobs.gov Most are vital to national security Biggie for me: Some are pretty darn cool jobs!
How? What’s the process? Fill out “a form” (SF-86) with “OMG data” going back 7-10 years, depending on clearance level and which organization is sponsoring you Addresses, phone numbers, family members, etc. “References” But, when they talk to your references, they will get asked if they know who your friends were, who you hung out with, etc … Then they go to THEM … especially if you didn’t put them on your form – WHY? (Note: ex-girl/boyfriends) ANOTHER NOTE: very intrusive!
How? What’s the process? (2) Defense Security Service conducts background checks most of the time (or a contractor) Goal for Secret: 2 months Goal for Top Secret: 9 months Adjudication – findings are evaluated based on a number of factors (about 13, depending on agency) Criminal conduct Personal conduct Substance abuse Mental disorders
Gotchyas Basic idea: Don’t be stupid! Don’t lie on the forms! It’s all about risk: what factors lead to someone becoming a “traitor”? Money Addictions/Blackmail Past behavior Ideology – set of ideas that constitute ones goals, expectations, and actions (wikipedia)
Gotchyas (a few examples) Money Credit Score Debt FBI webpage: “A poor credit history, or other issues, will not necessarily disqualify a candidate from receiving a clearance, but resolution of the issues will likely take additional time. If the issues are significant, they may prevent a clearance from being approved.” Addictions/Blackmail Drug use Sex etc Again, won’t disqualify, but needs to be “resolved”
Gotchyas (more examples) Past behavior Criminal history Inconsistencies from interviews are of “particular interest” and will cause them to “drill down” Ideology What are your professed beliefs? Citizenship of family members? Whom do you associate with? Who is in your circle? (likely new one coming)