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A security clearance is a status granted to individuals allowing them access to classified information (state or organizational secrets) or to restricted areas, after completion of a thorough background check. The term "security clearance" is also sometimes used in private organizations that have a formal process to vet employees for access to sensitive information. A clearance by itself is normally not sufficient to gain access; the organization must also determine that the cleared individual needs to know specific information. No one is supposed to be granted automatic access to classified information solely because of rank, position, or a security clearance.
- 1 Canada
- 2 Germany
- 3 United Kingdom
- 4 United States of America
- 4.1 Introduction
- 4.2 Authority
- 4.3 Hierarchy
- 4.4 Jobs that require a clearance
- 4.5 Requirements for a clearance
- 4.6 Security briefings
- 4.7 Dual citizenship
- 4.8 Individuals who have had security clearances revoked
- 5 United Nations
- 6 See also
- 7 Notes and references
- 8 External links
Government classified information is governed by the Treasury Board Standard on Security Screening, the Security of Information Act and Privacy Act. Only those that are deemed to be loyal and reliable, and have been cleared are allowed to access sensitive information. The policy was most recently revised on October 20, 2014.
Checks include basic demographic and criminal record checks for all levels, and, depending on an individual appointment's requirements, credit checks, loyalty, and field checks might be conducted by the RCMP and/or CSIS.
Clearance is granted, depending on types of appointment, by individual Federal government departments or agencies or by private company security officers. Those who have contracts with Public Works and Government Services Canada are bound by the Industrial Security Program, a sub-set of the GSP.
To access designated information, one must have at least standard reliability status (see Hierarchy below). Reliability checks and assessments are conditions of employment under the Public Service Employment Act, and, thus, all Government of Canada employees have at least reliability status screening completed prior to their appointment. However, Government employees by Order-in-council are not subjected to this policy.
Clearances at the reliability status and secret levels are valid for 10 years, whereas top secret is valid for 5 years. However, departments are free to request their employees to undergo security screening any time for cause. Because security clearances are granted by individual departments instead of one central government agency, clearances are inactivated at the end of appointment or when an individual transfers out of the department. The individual concerned can then apply to reactivate and transfer the security clearance to his/her new position.
Standard screenings are completed for individuals without law enforcement, security and intelligence functions with the government, whereas Enhanced screenings are for individuals with law enforcement, security and intelligence functions, or access to those data or facilities.
Individuals who need to have RS because of their job or access to federal government assets will be required to sign the Personnel Screening, Consent and Authorization Form (TBS/SCT 330-23e).
- Reliability Status, Standard (RS)
- Reliability checks are done by verifying personal data, criminal records check, credit check, educational, and professional qualifications, data on previous employment and references.
- This level of clearance will grant the right to access designated documents with markings of Protected A & B information/assets on a need-to-know basis. It is mandatory for individuals when the duties or tasks of a position or contract necessitate access to protected information and assets, regardless of the duration of an assignment.
- Reliability Status, Enhanced (ERS)
- In addition to the Reliability Status, Standard checks, open-source checks, and security questionnaire or interview are required.
- This level of clearance will grant the right to access designated documents with markings of Protected A, B & C information/assets on a need-to-know basis.
Individuals who require access to more sensitive information (or access to sensitive federal government sites and/or assets) because of their job will be required to sign the Security Clearance Form (TBS/SCT 330-60e). There are two levels of clearance:
- Secret clearance is only granted after a reliability status is cleared, with a positive CSIS security assessment.
- This level of clearance will grant the right to access designated and classified information up to Secret level on a need-to-know basis. Department Heads have the discretion to allow for an individual to access Top Secret-level information without higher-level clearance on a case-to-case basis.
- Only those with a Secret clearance, with enhanced screening have access to Protected C information.
- Top Secret
- In addition to the checks at the Secret level, foreign travels, assets, and character references must be given. Field check will also be conducted prior to granting the clearance.
- This level of clearance will grant the right to access all designated and classified information on a need-to-know basis.
Two additional categories called "Site Access Status" and "Site Access Clearance" exist not for access to information purposes but for those that require physical access to sites or facilities designated by CSIS as areas "reasonably be expected to be targeted by those who engage in activities constituting threats to the security of Canada". Designated areas include Government Houses, official residences of government officials, Parliament, nuclear facilities, airport restricted areas, maritime ports, and any large-scale events that are sponsored by the federal government (e.g., 2010 Winter Olympics).
Where reliability is the primary concern, a site access status screening (similar to a reliability status, standard screening) is conducted; where loyalty to Canada is the primary concern, a site access clearance (similar to a Secret clearance screening) is required. They are both valid for 10 years.
Prior to granting access to information, an individual who has been cleared must sign a Security Screening Certificate and Briefing Form (TBS/SCT 330-47), indicating their willingness to be bound by several Acts of Parliament during and after their appointment finishes. Anyone who has been given a security clearance and releases designated/classified information without legal authority is in breach of trust under section 18(2) of the Security of Information Act with a punishment up to 2 years in jail. Those who have access to Special Operational Information are held to a higher standard. The release of such information is punishable by law, under section 17(2) of the Security of Information Act, liable to imprisonment for life.
Section 750(3) of the Criminal Code, states that no person convicted of an offence under section 121 (frauds on the Government), section 124 (selling or purchasing office), section 380 (Fraud - if directed against Her Majesty) or section 418 (selling defective stores to Her Majesty), has, after that conviction, the capacity to contract with Her Majesty or to receive any benefits under a contract between Her Majesty and any other person or to hold office under Her Majesty unless a pardon has been granted. (This effectively prohibits granting of a Reliability Status to any such individual.)
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Logo jurisLogo Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection Law on conditions and procedure of security checks of the covenant (security clearance - SÜG)
Unofficial Contents SÜG
Date of issue: 20.04.1994
"Security clearance of 20 April 1994 (Federal Law Gazette I, p. 867), last amended by Article 11 of the Regulation of 31 August 2015 (BGBl. I S. 1474) has been changed"
Was standing: Last amended by Art. 11 V v. 8.31.2015 I 1474
For details on the status information you can find in the menu under Notices Footnote
(+++ Text detection from 29 4.1994 +++) (+++ For use cf. § 38a +++.)
Unofficial Contents Site
§ 1 Purpose and Scope of the Law § 2 Affected persons § 3 Responsibility § 4 Classified § 5 Security risks, safety-related findings § 6 Rights of the person concerned Second Section
Check species and implementing measures
§ 7 Types of security clearance § 8th Simple vetting § 9 Advanced vetting § 10 Extend the vetting certainly investigations § 11 Data collection § 12 Measures in the individual verification types Third Section
§ 13 Safety Statement § 14 Completion of the vetting § 15 Preliminary allocation of a sensitive nature § 16 Significant safety findings after completion of the vetting § 17 Supplement the security declaration and repeat verification Section Four
Records about the vetting; Data processing
§ 18 Safety Act and vetting Act § 19 Retention and destruction of documents § 20 Storing, modifying and usage of personal data in files § 21 Transmission and earmarking § 22 Rectify, erase and block personal data § 23 Information about stored personal data Section Five
Special arrangements for security checks for private parties
§ 24 scope of application § 25 Responsibility § 26 Safety Statement § 27 Completion of the vetting, passing on safety significant findings § 28 Update the Safety Statement § 29 Transmission of information on personal and Working relationships § 30 Security acts of non-public place § 31 Data processing, utilization and correction in automated files Section Six
Travel restrictions, security checks at the request of foreign authorities and Final Provisions
§ 32 Travel restrictions § 33 Vetting at the request of foreign services § 34 Authorization to ordinance § 35 General administrative provisions § 36 Application of the Federal Data Protection Act, the Federal Constitutional Protection Act, MAD Act and the BND Act § 37 Criminal provisions § 38 Changes in laws § 38a Transitional arrangements for security checks in Preventive personnel sabotage protection § 39 Come into effect Section One General Provisions
Unofficial Contents § 1 Purpose and Scope of the Law
(1) This Act regulates the conditions and the procedure for review of a person who should be entrusted by the competent authority with a sensitive nature were (vetting) or already entrusted is (repeat testing). (2) A safety-sensitive activities exerts who 1. Has access to classified information or can give him to the OR CONFIDENTIAL classified TOP SECRET, SECRET, . 2 Has access to classified information about government institutions and agencies, or can procure him when the Federal Republic of Germany is obliged to accept only security cleared individuals thereto, . 3 operates in an authority or any other public entity of the Federation or in a part of it, which has been declared due to the scope and meaning there accruing classified by the competent supreme federal authority in consultation with the Federal Ministry of the Interior as a National Security Authority for security sector is, . 4 under other provisions of a security clearance is subject, in so far as reference is made to this law. (3) Undertake agencies of the Federal Republic of Germany against authorities of other countries through agreements with those who have access to classified information of foreign states or can obtain, previously perform safety checks under German law, is in those conventions determine which Verschlußsache grade of the contractor Verschlußsache degrees after this law are comparable. Such requirements must remain within the limits of the reviews of this Act and, in particular comply with the criteria of §. 4 To (4) A security-sensitive activity also exerts, who is on a safety-sensitive position within a vital or defense means or who within a particularly security-sensitive spot of the division of the Federal Ministry of Defence ("Military Security Area") employs or (preventive human sabotage protection ) .Ziel to prevent personnel tamper protection is to keep potential saboteurs (insiders) of security-sensitive locations to ensure the protection of in paragraph 5 sentence 1 and 2 protected assets mentioned. (5) Vital are those facilities, 1. their deterioration due to their inherent operational risk inherent to endanger the health or lives of large segments of the population significantly or . 2 which are indispensable for the functioning of the community and whose disruption would thus be considerable unrest in large parts of the population and constitute a risk to the public safety or order. Important defense are outside the division of the Ministry of Defense institutions which serve the production or preservation of defense preparedness and whose disruption due 1. lack of short-term substitutability operability, especially the equipment, guidance and support of the Bundeswehr and allied forces or the civil defense, or . 2 of them adhering operational intrinsic danger to the health or lives of large segments of the population could seriously jeopardize. Sensitive point is the smallest self-acting organizational unit within a vital or defense device which is protected against unauthorized access and in the event of impairment pose a significant risk for the protection of goods specified in sentences 1 and 2 of the. Unofficial Contents § 2 Affected persons
(1) A person who is to be entrusted with a sensitive nature (subject) is, previously to undergo a security check. Security screening requires the consent of the person concerned, as far as legally otherwise specified. Such consent shall be given in writing but not in electronic form. A safety-sensitive activities may be transferred only after the age of 16 year. In a security check under this Act may be waived if the person concerned an equal or higher security clearance has been carried out already. (2) The age spouse who spouse or adult partner, with the lives of sufferers in a durable community (significant other) to be 1 number 1 and 2 and § 10 incorporated in the security check according to § 9 para. Decides on any exceptions the competent authority. In the case of inclusion of the consent of the spouse, domestic partner or spouse is required. Such consent shall be given in writing but not in electronic form. If the person concerned marriage during or only after the security check or he founded the partnership or the stable long-term Community in the same period, the competent authority must be informed in order to enable the inclusion of the spouse, civil partner catch or spouse in the security check. The same applies to later entering the age of majority or her spouse. (3) This Act does not apply 1. the members of the constitutional bodies of the Federal, . 2 Judge, as far as they perform tasks of law, . 3 foreign nationals who are to exercise in the Federal Republic of Germany in the interest of intergovernmental bodies and agencies a safety-sensitive activities pursuant to § 1 para. 2 no. 2. Unofficial Contents § 3 Responsibility
(1) is responsible for vetting 1. the government department or public body of the covenant, which assign a person a security-sensitive activities, transferred or will authorize it, . 2 in German nationals on the occasion of its activities in security-sensitive area to NATO or other intergovernmental bodies and agencies, the Federal Ministry of the Interior as a National Security Authority, unless otherwise determined, . 3 in political parties in accordance with Article 21 of the Basic Law as well as their foundations the parties themselves, . 4 Moreover, the government department or public body of the federation, who wants to pass a closure case to a private body, . 5 the government department or public body of the covenant, which perceives due to an ordinance pursuant to § 34 tasks after § 1 para. 4 And I will appoint a person with such a sensitive nature. In the cases of numbers 1 and 4 can take over tasks of the competent authority for subordinate authorities and other public bodies of the Federation whose supreme federal authority. The tasks of the competent authority under this Act to be considered by a separate from the personnel administration organizational unit. (2) contributors authority when the security check is the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution in accordance with § 3 para. 2 no. 1, 2 and 4 of the Federal Constitution Protection Act and the Federal Ministry of Defense of the Military Counterintelligence in accordance with § 1 para. 3 no. 1 letters a and b of the MAD-law, unless something else is determined in legislation between state institutions or in international treaties to which the legislative bodies in accordance with Article 59 para. 2 of the Basic Law have agreed. (3) The Federal Intelligence Service, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution and the Military Counterintelligence perform security checks for applicants and employees of own service alone. You hereby shall apply the provisions of this Act. The same applies if the Federal Intelligence Service or the Military Counterintelligence assign, transfer or want to authorize a security sensitive activities referred to in paragraph 1 no. 1 and 4. Unofficial Contents § 4 classified
(1) are classified requirement of confidentiality in the public interest facts, objects or intelligence, regardless of their form. They are classified according to their need for protection from an official body or at the instigation of. (2) A classified 1. TOP SECRET when The compromise may endanger the existence or vital interests of the Federal Republic of Germany or one of its countries, . 2 SECRET if the assets against compromise compromise the security of the Federal Republic of Germany or one of their countries or their interests may cause serious harm, . 3 CONFIDENTIAL if The compromise for the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany or one of its countries can be harmful, . 4 VS-RESTRICTED USE if the assets against compromise of the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany or one of its countries can be detrimental. Unofficial Contents § 5 security risks, significant safety findings
(1) For the purposes of this Act there is a safety risk if factual indications 1. Cast doubt on the reliability of the person concerned in the exercise of a sensitive nature or . 2 a particular hazard by Anbahnungs- and advertising attempts by foreign intelligence services, particularly the concern of blackmail, create or . 3 Doubts about the commitment of the person concerned to establish free democratic basic order within the meaning of the Basic Law, or at any time advocating for their conservation. A security risk may also be due to factual evidence of the person of the spouse, domestic partner or spouse. (2) A realization is safety considerably when from it gives an indication of a safety risk. Unofficial Contents § 6 Rights of the person concerned
(1) is to give the interested party before refusal of admission to a sensitive nature to express themselves personally to the substantial facts of the decision. Affected parties can appear for consultation with a lawyer. The hearing takes place in a manner that ensures the protection of sources and, taking account of the legitimate interests of individuals who were interviewed as part of a security check. You shall be refused if it would have a significant disadvantage for the security of the Federation or of a country result, especially in security checks of candidates at the federal intelligence services. (2) lying in the person of the spouse, partner or significant other indications exist that justify a security risk is to give him the opportunity to make a statement before the refusal of admission of the person concerned to a sensitive nature in person to the relevant to the decision facts. Paragraph 1, sentence 2 to 4 shall apply mutatis mutandis. (3) Paragraphs 1 and 2 shall also apply in case of rejection of further employment in a security-sensitive activities. Section Two types of scanning and implementing measures
Unofficial Contents § 7 Types of security clearance
(1) Using the relevant security-sensitive activities will be either a 1. simple security clearance or . 2 Advanced security clearance or . 3 Advanced security clearance with security investigation performed. (2) If during the vetting safety significant findings that can be resolved only by measures of the next higher kind of security check, the competent authority may, with the consent of the person concerned and the companies included person placing the next higher type of security clearance. § 12 para. 5 remain unaffected. Unofficial Contents § 8 Simple vetting
(1) The simple security clearance shall be carried out for those 1. Access to CONFIDENTIAL shall receive information classified or can give him up, . 2 To perceive activities in areas referred to in § 1 para. 2 no. 3. (2) In the cases of paragraph 1 no. 2 may waive the competent authority of the security check, if its nature or duration of the activity permit. Footnote
(. +++ § 8 paragraph 1 No. 3 in force until 10.1.2012 version:.. To further application cf. § 38a +++) Unofficial Contents § 9 Advanced vetting
(1) An extended security clearance shall be carried out for those 1. To have access to SECRET classified information or can provide it yourself, . 2 Access to a high number CONFIDENTIAL shall receive information classified or can give him up, . 3 Activities in areas under § 1 paragraph 4 to perceive, unless the competent authority considers in the individual case on the nature and duration of the activity a security check in accordance with § 8 for sufficiently. (2) In the cases of paragraph 1, point 3 may be omitted the security check, if 1. a person with a sensitive nature should be urgent entrusted, for any checked persons are available, or . 2 one person only briefly, usually no more than a day, a safety-sensitive activities should exercise and the non-verified person is constantly accompanied by a verified person. Footnote
(+++ § 9 in force up to 10.1.2012 version:. For further application cf. § 38a +++) Unofficial Contents § 10 Extended vetting certainly investigations
An extended security clearance with security investigation must be carried out for persons, 1. to get the access to TOP SECRET classified information or can provide it yourself, . 2 to get the access to a large number SECRET classified information or can provide it yourself, . 3 to be employed by a Federal Intelligence Service or a public authority or other public entity of the Federation, in accordance with § 34 perceives objects of comparable security sensitivity as determined by the federal government, unless the competent authority considers in the individual case on the nature and duration of the activity a security check in accordance with § 8 or § 9 sufficient. Unofficial Contents § 11 Data collection
(1) The competent authority and the authority contributors may generate the information necessary to perform its functions under this Act data. The person concerned and the other persons to be interviewed and non-public bodies are otherwise draw attention to the purpose of the collection, the information requirements under this Act and a service, labor or other contractual obligation to cooperate on the voluntary nature of their information. Persons referred to the case of safety inspections in § 3 para. 3 sentence 1 may be dispensed with an indication of the rising position opposite to the other persons to be interviewed or private bodies, where this is necessary for the protection of the data subject or of the intelligence service. (2) The competent authority collects personal data from the data subject or at the companies included in the vetting spouse, partner or significant other. Presented this survey is not made or preclude their legitimate interests of the person concerned or his or her spouse, civil partner or spouse, other suitable persons or bodies to be consulted. Unofficial Contents § 12 Measures in the individual verification types
(1) At the security check in accordance with § 8 the cooperating authority shall take the following measures: 1. Security moderate assessment of the information contained in the Security Declaration, taking into account the findings of the constitutional protection authorities of the federal and state governments, . 2 Request for unrestricted information from the Federal Central Register, . 3 Requests to the Bundeskriminalamt, the particular in the ordinance pursuant to § 58 para. 1 of the Federal Police Act Federal Police Department and the intelligence services of the Federation. (2) The security clearance in accordance with § 9, the cooperating authority shall in addition to paragraph 1 the following measures: 1. Questions to the police stations of position held residences of the person concerned, usually limited to the past five years, . 2 Verify the identity of the person concerned. If the spouse, or partner of the person concerned in the security check in accordance with § 2 para. 2 included the contributors with respect to the authority shall be included person the measures referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2. (3) In the safety review pursuant to § 10, the cooperating authority questioned further by the person concerned in his Declaration of Security specified reference persons and other appropriate respondents to check whether the information provided by the persons concerned are correct and whether there is clear indication that suggest a security risk. (4) The competent authority asks for finding a full-time or unofficial activities of the person concerned or of the included person for the State Security Service of the former German Democratic Republic with the Federal Commissioner for the Records of the State Security Service of the former German Democratic Republic, where the person concerned or the person involved was born before 1 January 1970 and in the territory of the former German Democratic Republic was residing or indications of activities available for the State Security Service of the former German Democratic Republic. If the request-safety related findings, they received the competent authority to assess the contributory Behörde.Die regulation does not apply to the safety review pursuant to § 9 section 1 point 3, unless the product concerned members of the division of the Ministry of Defense. (5) To the extent it requires a safety-related knowledge and the questioning of the person concerned or his or her spouse, civil partner or spouse is insufficient or conflicting with their legitimate interests, the cooperating authority in addition to the measures referred to in paragraphs 1 to 3 further suitable informants or other appropriate bodies may, particularly public prosecutors or courts surveys, or perform individual actions of the next higher kind of vetting. Section Three methods
Unofficial Contents § 13 Safety Statement
(1) In the safety return shall be made by the person concerned: 1. Name, even earlier, first name, . 2 Geburtsdatum-, place of birth, 3 Nationality, even earlier and dual citizenship . 4 Marital status, . 5 Residences and stays of longer duration than two months, in the domestic in the past five years, abroad from the age of 18, . 6 regular occupation, . 7 Employers and address; 8th. Number of Children, . 9 living in the household 18 years (name, even earlier, first name, date and place of birth and relationship to this person) 10th Parents, step-parents or foster parents (name, even earlier, first name, date of birth, place of birth, nationality and place of residence), 11th Training and employment periods, military or community service hours with details of training institutions, employment services and their addresses, 12th Number of identity card or passport, . 13 Reports on the in the past five years enforcement measures, and whether at the time the financial commitments to be met, 14th Contacts with foreign intelligence services or the intelligence services of the former German Democratic Republic, which may indicate a Anbahnungs- and advertising attempt 15th Relations with anti-constitutional organizations, 16th pending criminal and disciplinary proceedings, 17th Information on residences, stays, travel, close relatives and other relations in and to states where after approval of the Federal Ministry of the Interior special safety risks for those in charge of security-sensitive activities people are apprehended as National Security Authority, 18th two informants identity verification of the person concerned only in the security check according to §§ 9 and 10 (surname, first name, address and relationship to the person) 19th three reference persons (name, first name, profession, professional and personal address and telephone numbers, as well as temporal beginning of acquaintance) only when a security clearance in accordance with § 10, 20th Details of any previous security checks. The declaration shall be accompanied by two recent photographs with the indication of the year of recording. (2) The security clearance in accordance with § 8 the 'sales account for 1 No. 8, 11 and 12 and the duty to teach light images. Paragraph 1 no. 10 shall not apply where the persons referred to therein not live in a household with the person concerned. The person of the spouse, or partner are in agreement with them, the number in paragraph 1. 1 to 4 provide data mentioned. 14 and 15 Arising from the Security Policy or because of the query from one of the specified in § 6 of the Federal Constitutional Protection Act composite files safety related findings concerning the spouse, life partner or spouse of the person concerned, additional verification measures are permissible only if the spouse or partner with the consent of the extended security check is included. (2a) for members of the division of the Ministry of Defense accounts for at security checks according to § 9 paragraph 1, point 3, the information on paragraph 1 sentence 1 number 4, 8, 9, 10, 11, 18 and clause 2, when safety inspections in accordance with § 9 paragraph 1 number 3 has been dispensed with in addition the information on paragraph 1 sentence 1 number 13, 14 and 17th (3) If the spouse, or partner involved in the security check, so in addition, the number in paragraph 1. 5 to 7, 12, specify 13, 16, 17 and 18 data mentioned. (4) For safety inspections in § 3 para. 3 persons mentioned, the residences since birth, the siblings and completed criminal and disciplinary proceedings, and all contacts must also be shown to foreign intelligence services or the intelligence services of the former German Democratic Republic. (5) The person concerned may refuse information that would justify the risk of criminal or disciplinary prosecution, dismissal or termination for him, a close relative within the meaning of § 52 para. 1 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the life partner or spouse. About the right to refuse the person concerned shall be informed. (6) The safety declaration must be forwarded by the person concerned to the competent body. They analyzed the data of the person concerned on its completeness and accuracy. For this purpose, the personal files may be consulted. The competent authority shall forward this safety statement further to the cooperating authority, and commissioned them to carry out safety checks, unless the competent authority has already held when examining the safety declaration that a security risk exists that precludes a sensitive nature. The effective authority may with the consent of the competent authority and the person concerned in the personnel file insight, if it is indispensable to clarify or assess safety significant findings. Footnote
(+++ § 13 as in force until 10.1.2012 version: To further application cf. § 38a +++.) Unofficial Contents § 14 completion of the vetting
(1) If the contributory authority to the conclusion that there is no security risk in accordance with § 5 para. 1 is present, it shall inform the competent body. Fallen findings, which shall not establish a security risk, but remain considerably safety, they will be notified. (2) If the authority contributing to the conclusion that a security risk exists, it shall inform in writing giving the reasons for its assessment and the competent authority. In subordinate bodies to the disclosure of their supreme federal authority takes place. (3) The competent authority shall decide whether a security risk exists that the sensitive nature of the data subject entgegensteht.Die evaluation of submitted findings made on the basis of an oriented on the purpose of vetting overall assessment of the case, particularly with regard to the planned activities. When in doubt, the security interest has priority over other interests. § 6 para. 1 and 2 is observed. (4) the competent authority rejects the entrustment of the sensitive nature, it shall notify this to the person concerned. Unofficial Contents § 15 Preliminary allocation of a sensitive nature
The competent authority may allow in exceptional cases, deviation from § 2 para. 1, the safety-sensitive activities of the person concerned prior to the conclusion of the screening when the cooperating authority 1. in simple vetting the information in the security declaration has evaluated taking into account their knowledge or . 2 has finished in the extended security check and at the extended security clearance with security inquiry, the measures of the next lower type of security check and who will have no actual evidence of a security risk. Unofficial Contents § 16 Safety Significant findings after completion of the vetting
(1) The competent authority and the cooperating authority have immediately to inform each other when safety related findings about the victims or the companies included in the vetting spouse, or partner known to be or prove to be communicated findings to be incorrect. (2) The effective authority checks the safety significant findings and determines whether a security risk pursuant to § 5 para. 1 is present and inform the competent authority of the outcome of the examination. Incidentally, § 14 para. 3 and 4 shall apply mutatis mutandis. Unofficial Contents § 17 Supplementary safety explanation and repetition verification
(1) The Declaration of Security is the person concerned who exercises a safety-sensitive activities, forwarded again usually every five years and to complement the event occurred changes by the person concerned. (2) In sensitive work carried out in accordance with § 10 is to initiate a repeat inspection usually at a distance of ten years. Moreover, the competent authority may initiate a repeat inspection when significant safety findings suggest this. The process in the repetition corresponds to the verification of initial; the cooperating authority may waive a renewed identity verification. The repetition of verification carried out only with the consent of the person concerned, as far as legally otherwise specified, and with the consent of his spouse, or partner, if it is included. Section Four Acts of the vetting, data processing
Unofficial Contents § 18 Security Act and vetting Act
(1) The competent authority shall keep the person concerned a security file, in which are all incorporated the relevant information vetting. (2) information about the personal, official and labor relations of persons who are concerned with a sensitive nature are to take for security acts, insofar as they are relevant for the safety assessment of moderate. These include in particular: 1. Assignment, transfer of a sensitive nature, the authorization granted to and amendments and termination, . 2 Implementation, secondment, transfer and withdrawal, . 3 Changes in marital status, the name of residence and nationality, . 4 Evidence of indebtedness, in particular attachment and transfer decisions, . 5 Criminal and disciplinary matters, as well as service and employment law measures. (3) The security file is not a personal file. They must be kept separately and may not be the staff administrating authority nor the person concerned will be made available; § 23 para. 6 shall remain unaffected. In the event of a change of service or the employer's safety record must be submitted by there if there is a security-sensitive activity to be exercised. (4) The effective authority leads to stakeholders a vetting Act, be included in the: 1. Information relating to the security check, the measures carried out and the result, . 2 the resignation from or the non-inclusion of security-sensitive activities, . 3 Changes in marital status, the name of a residence and nationality. To in paragraph 2 no. 4 and 5 are data said to take for vetting Act, if they are safety considerably. (5) The competent authority is obliged to immediately provide the participating authority in paragraph 4 sentence 1 no. 3 and set data mentioned. 2 The transmission of the sentence in paragraph 4 1 no. 2 is subject to the data referred to in § 22 para. 2 no. 1 fixed deadlines. Unofficial Contents § 19 retention and destruction of documents
(1) The documents relating to the security check shall be kept separately and to protect against unauthorized access. (2) The documents relating to the vetting shall be destroyed with the competent authority within one year if the person receives no security-sensitive activities, unless the person concerned consents to the further retention. Moreover, the documents relating to the security check with the competent authority shall be destroyed five years after leaving the safety-sensitive activities, unless the person concerned consents to the further retention or it is intended, the person concerned in the near future again a safety-sensitive activities assign, transfer, or to authorize him. (3) The documents relating to the security check at the participating authority according to § 22 in para. 2 no. 2 to destroy periods mentioned. The same applies with regard to the documents relating to in § 3 para. 3 persons mentioned. Unofficial Contents § 20 storage, modification and usage of personal data in files
(1) The competent authority must to fulfill their duties under this Act in § 13 para. 1 no. Personal data 1 to 6 mentioned, their acts Fund office and the cooperating agency and the employment agency, orders for processing of the process and involved authorities in store, edit and share files. (2) The effective authority must to fulfill their tasks 1. which in § 13 para. 1 no. 1 to 6 personal data referred to by the person concerned and of the companies included in the vetting spouse, domestic partner or spouse and Acts Fund office, . 2 Injunctions for handling the matter and . 3 safety-related findings and insights that constitute a security risk, store, modify and use in files. The data referred to in point 1 may also be stored in the permissible pursuant to § 6 of the Federal Constitutional Protection Act composite files. Unofficial Contents § 21 Transmission and earmarking
(1) The personal data stored in the context of security clearance are allowed by the competent authority or authorities for contributors 1. the objectives pursued by the vetting purposes, . 2 The investigation of serious crimes, . 3 Purposes parliamentary committees be used and transmitted. Law enforcement authorities may only use the received in accordance with sentence 1 no. 2 Data for purposes of criminal proceedings, if the prosecution would be considerably more difficult or much less promising in other ways. The competent authority may also take advantage of the stored personal data for purposes of disciplinary action as well as service or employment action, and transmit, if this is necessary to ensure the Verschlußsache protection. The effective authority may use the personal data stored beyond as part of the required circumference and transmit the enlightenment of safety related or intelligence activities for a foreign power or aspirations, which are aimed to use force or prepare the use of force or to educate other aspirations of considerable Importance. (2) The transmission of data stored in files according to § 20 data is permissible only if it is necessary for fulfilling the purposes specified in paragraph 1. The stored according to § 20 para. 2 no. 1 data may be used and transmitted to fulfill all the purposes of constitutional protection. (3) The effective authority may transmit personal data pursuant to paragraphs 1 and 2 only to public sector entities. (4) The use or transmission shall, as far as legal regulations preclude use. (5) The recipient may process the data transmitted only for the purpose and use for which they are forwarded to it, and for the purpose of prosecution pursuant to paragraph 1 sentence 1 no. 2. A non-public body should be noted. Unofficial Contents § 22 rectify, erase and block personal data
(1) The competent authority and the authority contributors have to correct personal data if they are inaccurate. If it is determined that personal information is inaccurate or if their correctness is contested by the person concerned, so this is as far are the personal data in files to note there or hold otherwise. (2) In files stored personal data shall be deleted 1. by the competent authority a) within one year if the person receives no security-sensitive activities, unless the person concerned agrees to the additional storage, b) after a period of five years after leaving the patient out of the sensitive nature, unless the person concerned consents to the continued storage of one or it is intended to assign a safety-sensitive activities the person concerned in the near future, to transfer or to authorize him to do so, . 2 of the participating authorities a) with simple safety checks after a period of five years after leaving the patient out of the sensitive nature, b) for the other types of scanning after the expiration of ten years, the Federal Intelligence Service after the expiration of 25 years after the dates referred to in paragraph 1, c) stored according to § 20 para. 2 no. 3 data, when it is established that the person concerned receives no security-sensitive activities or resigned from her. Incidentally stored personal data shall be erased if their storage is inadmissible in files. (3) If the cancellation if there are grounds for believing that legitimate interests of the person concerned would be affected by it. In this case, the data shall be blocked. They may only be processed and used with the consent of the person concerned. Unofficial Contents § 23 Information about stored personal data
(1) At the request shall be issued by the competent body or authority participating free information, what data was stored on the requesting person as part of the vetting. (2) Refers to the provision of information on the transfer of personal data to the participating authorities, it is permitted only with their consent. (3) If the provision of information to the extent 1. the information would jeopardize the proper performance of the areas under the responsibility of storing office tasks, . 2 the information would jeopardize public safety or otherwise be detrimental to the Federation or a country or . 3 the data or the fact of their storage according to a legal provision or by its very nature, in particular because of the overriding legitimate interests of a third party, must be kept secret and therefore must withdraw the interest of the inquirer on the exchange of information. (4) The refusal to provide information does not require a statement of reasons, in so far as. By the statement of the factual and legal grounds on which the decision is based, the objective pursued by the refusal to supply information purpose would be jeopardized In this case, the reasons for withholding the information are to be recorded. The requesting person is to point out the legal basis for the lack of reasoning and the fact that they may appeal to the Federal Commissioner for Data Protection. (5) If the requester does not give information, so they must be issued at his request the Federal Commissioner for Data Protection, unless noted the relevant competent supreme federal authority in an individual case that characterized the security of the Federation or of a country would be jeopardized. The release of the Federal Commissioner for Data Protection must not allow any conclusions about the state of knowledge of the storing place, unless the latter consents to further information. (6) The competent body grants the inquiring person insight into the security file to the extent that information to carry out their legal interests is not sufficient and it is for this purpose rely on the inspection. The provisions of paragraphs 2 to 5 shall apply mutatis mutandis. (7) The information provided is free of charge. SECTION V Special provisions for safety checks for private parties
Unofficial Contents § 24 Scope
For safety inspections of those concerned, the authorized by the competent authority to a security-sensitive activities pursuant to § 1 para. 2 no. 1 to 3 in a non-public body or a private body with a sensitive nature in accordance with § 1 para. 2 no. 4 or para. 4 to be charged, the following special rules apply. Unofficial Contents § 25 Jurisdiction
(1) responsible for safety-sensitive activities pursuant to § 1 para. 2 no. 1 to 3 is the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, unless another supreme federal authority perceives in agreement with his job as a competent body. (2) responsible for security sensitive activities pursuant to § 1 para. 4 is that the Federal Ministry whose jurisdiction for non-public body in an ordinance pursuant to § 34 is fixed. The competent Federal Ministry may delegate his powers to a body designated by a public body of the Federation. (3) The tasks of the non-public sector body under this Act are basically perceive of a separate from the personnel administration organizational unit. The competent authority may allow exceptions when the private body undertakes the information known to her as part of the vetting, to use for such purposes, which are pursued by the vetting. Unofficial Contents § 26 Safety Statement
Notwithstanding § 13 para. 6 directs the person concerned to his safety declaration of non-public body, in which he is employed. In the case of inclusion of a spouse, domestic partner or spouse pursuant to § 2 para. 2 he adds his consent. The non-public body must assess the completeness and accuracy of the information and may, to the extent necessary, call in personnel documents. You are the security declaration to the competent department and shall inform the existing safety-related findings with. Unofficial Contents § 27 completion of the vetting, passing on safety significant findings
The competent body shall inform the non-public place only about the fact that the person concerned for the safety-sensitive activities authorized or is not authorized. Findings concerning the refusal of authorization to sensitive nature, shall not be communicated. To ensure the Verschlußsache protection-safety-related findings can be communicated to the non-public office and may be used by you solely for that purpose. The non-public sector body has to inform the competent authority immediately if safety-related findings on the persons concerned or the companies included in the security check spouses, partners or significant other be known. Unofficial Contents § 28 Updating the Safety Statement
(1) The non-public body passes to the person concerned who exercises a safety-sensitive activities, at the request of the competent authority, the security declaration usually every five years. (2) The person concerned has to supplement the data given in the Declaration of Security in the event of changes occurred. The competent authority instructs the cooperating authority, the measures according to § 12 para. 1 no. 2 and 3 to perform again and evaluate. Unofficial Contents § 29 Provision of information about personal and Working relationships
The non-public body shall notify the resignation of security-sensitive activities, changes of marital status, the name of a residence and the nationality without delay the competent authority. Unofficial Contents § 30 security acts of non-public place
For the safety record in the non-public body, the provisions of this Act on the Safety Act shall apply mutatis mutandis with the proviso that the safety record of the non-public body is not discharged when the employer changes. Unofficial Contents § 31 Data processing, utilization and correction in automated files
The non-public body may store the personal information required under this Act to perform their duties of the person concerned in automated files, modify and use. The rules applicable to the competent authority rules concerning the rectification, erasure and blocking apply. Section Six travel restrictions, security checks at the request of foreign authorities and Final Provisions
Unofficial Contents § 32 travel restrictions
(1) a person who performs a safety-sensitive activity that requires a security check according to § 9 paragraph 1 number 1 and 2 and § 10 may be obliged, business and private trips in and through countries to which special security regulations apply, the competent time display body or the non-public service dispatcher. The obligation can also be arranged for the period after leaving the sensitive nature. (2) The travel may be prohibited by the competent authority if there are indications of the person or a specific safety-sensitive activities are present, which are expected to be a major threat by foreign intelligence services. (3) If, during a trip in and by States that are subject to special safety regulations, clues that may indicate an attempt Anbahnungs- and advertising foreign intelligence services, the competent authority, after completion of the journey shall be informed immediately. Unofficial Contents § 33 security check at the request of foreign services
(1) Where one foreign office the participating authorities about the participation in a security check, so it is subject to the provisions of this Act, unless in legislation between state institutions or international treaties, which were approved by the legislative bodies in accordance with Article 59 para. 2 of the Basic Law have provided otherwise. (2) Failure to cooperate when foreign interests of the Federal Republic of Germany or overriding legitimate interests of the person concerned preclude. This also applies to the transfer of personal data to the foreign office. (3) The foreign agency should be noted that the date received in the framework of the security check personal data may only be used for purposes of security clearance and the cooperating authority reserves the right to ask for information about the made use of the data. Unofficial Contents § 34 Authorization to ordinance
The Federal Government is authorized to determine, by ordinance, the authorities or other public bodies of the Federation or not public bodies or parts of them food or defending important facilities with security sensitive areas within the meaning of § 1 para. 4 are that the Federal Ministry is responsible for the non-public sector body and which authorities or other public bodies of the federal tasks as defined in § 10 sentence 1 no. 3 perceive. Unofficial Contents § 35 General administrative provisions
(1) The general administrative provisions relating to the implementation of this Act shall adopt the Federal Ministry of the Interior, to the extent otherwise provided in paragraphs 2 to 4. FIG. (2) The general administrative provisions relating to the implementation of this Act in the area of security clearance in the industry adopts the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy in consultation with the Federal Ministry of the Interior. (3) The general administrative provisions relating to the implementation of this Act to the Federal Ministry of Defence shall issue the Federal Ministry of Defence in agreement with the Federal Ministry of the Interior. (4) The general administrative provisions relating to the implementation of this Act in the federal intelligence services adopt the relevant competent supreme federal authority in consultation with the Federal Ministry of the Interior. Unofficial Contents § 36 Application of the Federal Data Protection Act, the Federal Constitutional Protection Act, MAD Act and the BND Act
(1) The provisions of the first section with the exception of § 3 para. 2 and 8, sentence 1, § 4 para. 2 and 3, §§ 4b and 4c, and § 13 para. 1a and of Part V and the §§ 18 and 39 of the Federal Data Protection Act, the first section and §§ 14 and 23 no. 3 of the Federal Constitution Protection Act in conjunction with § 12 of the MAD Act and § 10 of the Federal Intelligence Service Act and §§ 1 and 8 of the MAD Act and § 6 the BND Act shall apply. (2) For the control of data protection of personal data stored by public and non-public bodies under this Act, §§ 21 and 24 to 26 of the Federal Data Protection Act. Unofficial Contents § 37 penal provisions
(1) Whoever without authorization protected by this law, personal data which are not evident 1. stores, modified or transmitted, . 2 make available for access by automated procedure or . 3 retrieves or or another procured from files is punished with imprisonment up to one year or a fine. (2) Likewise, anyone who 1. the transmission of personal data protected by this law, which are not obvious, surreptitiously by false information or . 2 contrary to § 21 para. 1 or § 27 sentence 3 uses data for other purposes, by passing it on to another within the site. To enrich (3) If the offender for payment or with the intention of himself or another person or to harm another person, the penalty shall be imprisonment for up to two years or a fine. (4) The act shall be prosecuted only at the request. Unofficial Contents § 38
Unofficial Contents § 38a Transitional arrangements for security checks in Preventive personnel sabotage protection
(1) In process for vetting in Preventive personnel tamper protection, for an application before January 10, 2012 or a repeat review was initiated, § 8 paragraph 1 point 3 and §§ 9 and 13 in its applicable until then amended further apply. (2) As part of the updating of the Security Policy in Preventive personnel tamper according to § 17 paragraph 1 or § 28 is completed a new Declaration of Security when to upgrade security explanation of the legal situation prior to the January 10, 2012 corresponded. Unofficial Contents § 39 Entry into force
This Act shall take effect on the day after promulgation. (see top of sec
Clearance is checked at six levels, depending on the classification of materials that can be accessed — Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS), Counter-Terrorist Check (CTC), Security Check (SC) and Developed Vetting (DV). Security Check allows an individual long-term unsupervised access to protectively-marked SECRET material, whilst for TOP SECRET Developed Vetting is required.
Those with security clearance are commonly required to sign a statement to the effect that they agree to abide by the restrictions of the Official Secrets Act. This is popularly referred to as "signing the Official Secrets Act". Signing this has no effect on which actions are legal, as the act is a law, not a contract, and individuals are bound by it whether or not they have signed it. Signing it is intended more as a reminder to the person that they are under such obligations. To this end, it is common to sign this statement both before and after a period of employment that involves access to secrets.
After the United States of America entered into World War II, Britain changed its security classifications to match those of the USA. Previously, classifications had included the top classification "Most Secret", but it soon became apparent that the United States of America did not fully understand the UK's classifications, and classified information appeared in the U. S. A.'s press. This spearheaded the uniformity in classification between the UK and the USA.
United States of America
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A security clearance is an official determination that an individual may access information classified by the United States of America Government. Security clearances are hierarchical; each level grants the holder access to information in that level and the levels below it. The clearance process requires a background investigation and the signing of a nondisclosure agreement. Access to any particular piece of information requires "need-to-know." In some cases, this requirement is only nominal, as some classified information is widely published on secure networks. In other cases, there is a formal need-to-know determination. In addition to such a determination, Special Access Programs and Sensitive Compartmented Information may require additional investigation and adjudication of the prospective clearance holder.
The authority for classifying information and granting security clearances to access that information is found in executive orders (EOs) and the USA's Federal law. USA's National Security Information (NSI) is classified under EO 13526. Information may be classified under this Order if a classification authority determines its unauthorized release could cause damage to the national defense or foreign relations of the United States. Information concerning nuclear weapons and fissile material may be classified under the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (AEA). These clearances are only granted by the Department of Energy. The clearance process for access to NSI or AEA information is substantially aligned. Under EO 12968, the investigative and adjudicative guidelines for NSI and AEA clearances are identical. This enables reciprocity between NSI and AEA clearances, although some exceptions exist.
USA's Executive Order 12968's standards are binding on all of the USA's government agencies that handle classified information, but it allows certain agency heads to establish Special Access Programs (SAPs) with additional, but not duplicative, investigative and adjudicative requirements. The Intelligence Community's Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) control systems are a family of SAPs, and SCI eligibility must be granted prior to accessing any particular control system or compartment (which may require additional investigation or adjudication). SCI eligibility policy is described in Intelligence Community Directive 704 and its implementing policy guidance. Any additional clearance measures used by SAPs must be approved by the Office of Management and Budget, which has generally limited such measures to polygraphs, exclusion of persons with non-US immediate family members, requiring more frequent reinvestigations, and requiring annual updates to security questionnaires.
A security clearance is granted to an individual and generally recognizes a maximum level of clearance. Exceptions include levels above compartmentalized access or when an individual is cleared for a certain type of data. The President of the United States may be given access to any government or military information that he requests if there is a proper "need to know", even if he would not otherwise be able to normally obtain a security clearance were he not the President. Having obtained a certain level security clearance does not mean that one automatically has access to or is given access to information cleared for that clearance level in the absence of a demonstrated "need to know". The "need-to-know" determination is made by a 'disclosure officer,' who may work in the office of origin of the information. The specified "need to know" must be germane to the prospective user's mission, or of necessity for the integrity of a specified security apparatus.
"Controlled Unclassified" does not represent a clearance designation, but rather a clearance level at which information distribution is controlled. Controlled Unclassified designates information that may be illegal to distribute. This information is available when needed by government employees, such as the USA's Department of Defense (DoD) employees, but the designation signifies that the information should not be redistributed to users not designated to use it on an operational basis. For example, the organization and processes of an information-technology system may be designated Controlled Unclassified to users for whom the operational details of the system are non-critical.
Public Trust Position
Despite common misconception, this designation is not a security clearance, and is not the same as the confidential designation. Certain positions which require access to sensitive information, but not information which is classified, must obtain this designation through a background check. In the USA, Public Trust Positions can either be moderate-risk or high-risk.
This is hierarchically the first security clearance to get, typically requiring a few weeks to a few months of investigation. A Confidential clearance requires a NACLC investigation which dates back 7 years on the subject's record and must be renewed (with another investigation) every 15 years.
A Secret clearance, also known as Collateral Secret or Ordinary Secret, requires a few months to a year to investigate, depending on the individual's background. Some instances wherein individuals would take longer than normal to be investigated are many past residences, having residences in foreign countries, having relatives outside the United States, or significant ties with non-US citizens. Unpaid bills as well as criminal charges will more than likely disqualify an applicant for approval. However, a bankruptcy will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and is not an automatic disqualifier. Poor financial history is the number-one cause of rejection, and foreign activities and criminal record are also common causes for disqualification. A Secret clearance requires a NACLC, and a Credit investigation; it must also be re-investigated every 10 years. Investigative requirements for DoD clearances, which apply to most civilian contractor situations, are contained in the Personnel Security Program issuance known as DoD Regulation 5200.2-R, at part C3.4.2
Top Secret is a more stringent clearance. A Top Secret, or "TS", clearance, is often given as the result of a Single Scope Background Investigation, or SSBI. Top Secret clearances, in general, afford one access to data that affects national security, counterterrorism/counterintelligence, or other highly sensitive data. There are far fewer individuals with TS clearances than Secret clearances. A TS clearance can take as few as 3 to 6 months to obtain, but often it takes 6 to 18 months. The SSBI must be reinvestigated every 5 years. In order to receive TS clearance, all candidates must pass an oral interview.
As with TS clearances, Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) clearances are assigned only after one has been through the rigors of a Single Scope Background Investigation and a special adjudication process for evaluating the investigation. SCI access, however, is assigned only in "compartments". These compartments are necessarily separated from each other with respect to organization, so that an individual with access to one compartment will not necessarily have access to another. Each compartment may include its own additional special requirements and clearance process. An individual may be granted access to, or read into, a compartment for any period of time.
Top secret clearance might be required to access:
- Communications intelligence, a subset of SIGINT
- Design or stockpile information about nuclear weapons
- Nuclear targeting
Such compartmentalized clearances may be expressed as "John has a TS/SCI", whereby all clearance descriptors are spelled out verbally. For example, the US National Security Agency once used specialized terms such as "Umbra", This classification is reported to be a compartment within the "Special Intelligence" compartment of SCI. The various NSA compartments have been simplified; all but the most sensitive compartments are marked "CCO", meaning "handle through COMINT channels only".
The US Department of Defense establishes, separately from intelligence compartments, special access programs (SAP) when the vulnerability of specific information is considered exceptional and the normal criteria for determining eligibility for access applicable to information classified at the same level are not deemed sufficient to protect the information from unauthorized disclosure. The number of people cleared for access to such programs is typically kept low. Information about stealth technology, for example, often requires such access.
Area-specific clearances include:
- L clearance (Department of Energy)
- Q clearance (Department of Energy)
- Yankee White (working with the President and Vice President)
Jobs that require a clearance
Anyone with access to classified data requires a clearance at or higher than the level at which the data is classified. For this reason, security clearances are required for a wide range of jobs, from senior management to janitorial. According to a 2013 Washington Post article, over 1.5 million Americans had top-secret clearances; almost one-third of them worked for private companies, rather than for the U.S. government.
Jobs that require a security clearance can be found either as positions working directly for the federal government or as authorized federal contractors. Over time, more clearance jobs are being outsourced to contractors. Due to an overall shortage in security-cleared candidates and a long time frame to obtain the credentials for an uncleared worker, those with clearance are often paid more than their non-cleared equivalent counterparts. According to one 2010 estimate, "people with security clearances are in the top 10 percent of wage earners in the country".
Requirements for a clearance
The vetting process for a security clearance is usually undertaken only when someone is hired or transferred into a position that requires access to classified information. The employee is typically fingerprinted and asked to provide information about themselves. This becomes a starting point for an investigation into the candidate's suitability. The process has been streamlined and now requires the person who needs clearance to input the information online using E-qip; five days are allowed for data input. Having the older paper form can be helpful for collecting and organizing the information in advance. The information on an investigation and its status is stored in either JPAS or Scattered Castles.
Investigative work is usually at least one of the following types:
- National Agency Check with Local Agency Check and Credit Check (NACLC). An NACLC is required for a Secret, L, and CONFIDENTIAL access. (See: Background check)
- Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI). An SSBI is required for Top Secret, Q, and SCI access, and involves agents contacting employers, coworkers and other individuals. Standard elements include checks of employment; education; organization affiliations; local agencies; where the subject has lived, worked, or gone to school; and interviews with persons who know the individual. The investigation may include an NACLC on the candidate’s spouse or cohabitant and any immediate family members who are U.S. citizens other than by birth or who are not U.S. citizens.
- Polygraph. Some agencies may require polygraph examinations. The most common examinations are Counter Intelligence (CI) and Full-Scope (Lifestyle) polygraphs. While a positive SSBI is sufficient for access to SCI-level information, polygraphs are routinely administered for "staff-like" access to particular agencies.
If issues of concern surface during any phase of security processing, coverage is expanded to resolve those issues. At lower levels, interim clearances may be issued to individuals who are presently under investigation, but who have passed some preliminary, automatic process. Such automatic processes include things such as credit checks, felony checks, and so on. An interim clearance may be denied (although the final clearance may still be granted) for having a large amount of debt, having a foreign spouse, for having admitted to seeing a doctor for a mental health condition, or for having admitted to other items of security concern (such as a criminal record or a history of drug use.)
Investigations conducted by one federal agency are no longer supposed to be duplicated by another federal agency when those investigations are current within 5 years and meet the scope and standards for the level of clearance required. The high-level clearance process can be lengthy, sometimes taking a year or more. In recent years, there has been an increased backlog of cases which has been attributed to the economic climate. The long time needed for new appointees to be cleared has been cited as hindering U.S. presidential transitions.
In the U.S.A., once the clearance is granted, the candidate is briefed on "the proper safeguarding of classified information and on the criminal, civil, and administrative sanctions that may be imposed on an individual who fails to protect classified information from unauthorized disclosure." He or she is also required to sign an approved non-disclosure agreement (e.g., form SF-312). High-level clearances are reviewed periodically and any "adverse information" reports received at any time can trigger a review. When a cleared person leaves their job, they are often "debriefed"—reminded of their ongoing obligations to protect the information they were allowed to see. According to NISPOM Chapter 3, newly cleared employees are required to receive an initial security briefing before having access to classified information. This training helps them understand the threat, risks to classified information, how to protect the classified information, security procedures and duties as they apply to their job. This training is followed up by refresher training that reinforces the initial security briefing.
Dual citizenship is associated with two categories of security concerns: foreign influence and foreign preference. Dual citizenship in itself is not the major problem in obtaining or retaining security clearance in the USA. If a security clearance applicant's dual citizenship is "based solely on parents' citizenship or birth in a foreign country", that can be a mitigating condition. However, exercising (taking advantage of the entitlements of) a non-U.S. citizenship can cause problems. For example, possession and/or use of a foreign passport is a condition disqualifying from security clearance and "is not mitigated by reasons of personal convenience, safety, requirements of foreign law, or the identity of the foreign country" as is explicitly clarified in a Department of Defense policy memorandum which defines a guideline requiring that "any clearance be denied or revoked unless the applicant surrenders the foreign passport or obtains official permission for its use from the appropriate agency of the United States Government". This guideline has been followed in administrative rulings by the Department of Defense (DoD) Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals (DOHA) office of Industrial Security Clearance Review (ISCR), which decides cases involving security clearances for Contractor personnel doing classified work for all DoD components. In one such case, an administrative judge ruled that it is not clearly consistent with U.S. national interest to grant a request for a security clearance to an applicant who was a dual national of the United States and Ireland.
Individuals who have had security clearances revoked
In the post World War II era there have been several highly publicized, and often controversial, cases of officials or scientists having their security clearances revoked, including:
- Sandy Berger
- John M. Deutch
- Abdel-Moniem El-Ganayni
- Wen Ho Lee
- Robert Oppenheimer
- Alan Turing (UK)
- Qian Xuesen
- Edward Snowden
The UN has a Security Clearance (SC) procedure and document for United Nations staff travelling to areas designated as security phase areas, with numbers ranging from one to five ("no-phase" areas are calm countries where no SC is required).
- Background check
- Compartmentalization (intelligence)
- List of U.S. security clearance terms
- Security Advisory Opinion
Notes and references
- Standard on Security Screening - Table of Contents
- Personnel Security Standard
- Guide to the Audit of Security - March 2004
- Security Policy-Manager's Handbook
- Standard on Security Screening
- CSIS Security Screening
- Security of Information Act
- ISM Chapter 2 Part I
- Executive Order 12968
- OMB Memorandum M-06-21, Reciprocal Recognition of Personnel Security Clearances, July 17, 2006.
-  Archived 13 January 2011 at the Wayback Machine
- "National Security Positions vs. Public Trust Positions".
- "FEDERAL SECURITY/SUITABILITY CLEARANCE CHART" (PDF).
- "DSS / DISCO / Frequently Asked Questions about the Industrial Personnel Security Clearance Process". Defense Security Service. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
- "Report on Security Clearance Determinations for Fiscal Year 2010" (PDF). Office of the Director of National Intelligence. September 2011. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
- "NSA Bibliographies". NSA Bibliographies. 2007-09-27.
- "William H. Payne v. National Security Agency". William H. Payne v. National Security Agency. 2007-09-27.
- "US Spying on Indian Nuclear Scientists". The NSA has been spying on Indian nuclear scientists by tapping phone conversations. 2007-09-27.
- "National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 24". Declassified documents and Archive publications on U.S. Intelligence. 2007-09-27.
- Fung, Brian (2014-03-24). "The Washington Post". Retrieved 12/5/14. Check date values in:
- Tyler, Jeff (2006-11-17). "Private spooks for hire". Retrieved 2009-01-10.
- "Security Clearance a Valued Resume Credential". Fox News. Associated Press. 2007-03-25. Retrieved 2009-01-10.
- Willing, Richard (2007-02-14). "White House looks for faster top-secret clearances". USA Today. Retrieved 2009-01-10.
- Merle, Renae (2006-02-09). "Security Clearances Can Pay Off". Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-05-23.
- Hedgpeth, Dana (2010-08-24). "Fairs help job-seekers with security clearances connect with intelligence firms". Washington Post.
- Security Clearance Issues Arising Under Guideline F, Financial Considerations, Security Clearance Blog, April 8, 2011
- "Security Clearance Guidelines: Foreign Preference". military.about.com. Retrieved 2007-05-15.
- Arthur L. Money (16 August 2000). "Guidance to DoD Central Adjudication Facilities (CAF) Clarifying the Application of the Foreign preference Adjucitative Guideline" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-05-15. (the "Money Memorandum")
- ISCR Case No. 02-21102
german language official files
- (DoD) Factors Used for Determining Security Clearance Approval/Disapproval
- Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals decisions
- Security Clearance FAQs
- How to get clearance
- DoD Intelligence & Security Documents, directives and Instructions
- DoD Security Clearances and Contracts Guidebook-What You Need to Know About Your Need to Know
- Federal Suitability Security Clearance Chart
- Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals (DOHA) Experiencing Immense Backlog of Cases, Highlighting Need for Thorough and Effective Preparation of Clearance Applications