After going through the laborious background investigation process and finally getting notified that you are eligible for a security clearance, you now have to sign the classified information nondisclosure agreement (SF-312) before getting access. This agreement between you and the government basically states what your responsibilities are in protecting, handling, and disclosing classified information. It is quite a lengthy document with lots of legalese which most people just skim over. There are, however, a few interesting tidbits that clearance holders should know:
In today’s society it is virtually impossible to avoid contact with online communications or some form of social media. Many who keep opinions and thoughts about people, events, and work to themselves in person feel liberated when it comes to communicating electronically. The ability to electronically post information without the normal filters appeals to many, as they don’t have to face any immediate human reactions to the content, but at the same time they are seeking approval or have a need to be seen as a part of some organization, movement, or similar group of people.
Your ancestors came over from the “Old Country” a generation or two ago before you came along, and now you want to embrace their heritage and culture, and perhaps reconnect with previously unknown extended family members. You go for a visit and think it would be cool to get dual citizenship and get another passport. However, if you are a security clearance holder or a future applicant, before you take any steps to seek out dual citizenship and obtain any inherent benefits that may come with it, you should research the adjudicative guidelines under Foreign Preference to ensure you understand what the disqualifiers are that could result in a security clearance denial, as well as what may mitigate any concerns.
A memo released by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper paves the way for social media checks to be used in the security clearance background investigation process.
Any information searched must be related to the 13 adjudicative criteria, and must be information that is publicly available. A background investigator will not be asking for your log-in credentials, but you should expect your name to be searched on popular search engines and social media sites once the policy is implemented.