Federal Government to Reference Social Media in Security Clearance

Social media is soaring to new heights of public consideration. The federal government has expanded its review process to include social media posts made by prospective employees as a basis to determine eligibility for security clearance.

The burgeoning review will allow agencies to scrutinise posts made to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social platforms as necessary. Any publicly available information is fair game. However, the guidelines reiterate the passwords are to remain private and any that accounts under a false name cannot be forced out of a person unless it becomes a matter of national security. Confirmed by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), certain special cases will allow the agencies to delve into an applicants friends and associates when they are involved with or mentioned in a suspicious social media post.

Proponents of the directive state that social media will not be a required part of the review, but having it as a tool to utilise when necessary is of a vital tool in understanding who a person is nowadays. It determines whether a person can be trusted with secrets. Additionally, burrowing into the past is an opportunity to see if a candidate has something that could be used in blackmail.

Representative Mark Meadows made a good point at the hearing for the House subcommittee: "Today, with more than a billion individuals on Facebook, what a person says and does on social media can often give a better insight on who they are."

Both parties have agreed on the new policy. The best part of this news, if there is any, is that only information considered relevant to a person's background check will be retained. Privacy advocates are circling the proceedings, looking for any slip in the reviews to point out Big Brother's involvement.

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