In May of 2013, Edward Snowden, a formerly unknown computer specialist working for the CIA and NSA, revealed extensive details regarding top-secret U.S. and British government mass surveillance programs to The Guardian, published the following month. Daniel Ellsberg of Pentagon Papers fame called it the greatest leak in American history. Many were quick to agree.
Leaving aside disputes in the media and popular culture over whether "hero" or "traitor"could more accurately describe Snowden, the disclosure has provoked widespread introspection throughout the U.S. Intelligence Community as to the nature of existing security clearance procedure and the future thereof.
In a hot-off-the press online CLE course, Jon L. Roberts, Ph.D. and J.D., a former intelligence research analyst working for the government, a senior scientist in the private industry, and a security clearance law attorney, sweeps aside any perception that U.S. security clearance procedure is inherently lax. Quite to the contrary, his program illuminates the veritable laundry list of items that can disqualify applicants, including having a family member who is not a citizen of the United States, which could be argued to create susceptibility to foreign influence.
How procedures might be tightened to prevent the advent of another Snowden remains the stuff of conjecture. But without a doubt, the conversation will be a significant one, with the possibility of future Congressional acts and regulations very much on the horizon.
For more information on Dr. Roberts' program, please see the below: