WikiLeaks the Subject of Background Checks for State Department Employees

According to a recent Fast Company magazine article, “the U.S. State Department is reportedly threatening to deny some bloggers and social media users security clearances.” Of course they aren’t referring to just any bloggers or just any social media users; they are referring to federal job applicants who have posted links or references to a website called WikiLeaks on Facebook, Twitter, or their personal blogs.

At issue is the judgment shown by job applicants in their handling of confidential or classified information, such as information released by WikiLeaks. Reading, sharing, commenting on, or linking to documents released by Wikileaks may be seen as a violation of Executive Order 13526, Classified National Security Information, Section 5.5.

Security clearances are required for many federal government jobs and background checks play a vital role in the clearance process. As part of the background check, social media searches may be conducted as a way to judge the character and judgment of the individual seeking clearance.

Fast Company further reported that “the State Department’s decision coincides with a larger government push to threaten WikiLeaks readers/comments/bloggers with sanctions.”

Read the full story at Fast Company.

About Michael Gaul

Michael is a results-oriented marketing executive with over two decades of experience in employment screening, physical security, and business process management. Michael has deep experience in human capital risk management and a passion for educating business leaders and HR professionals on strategies that tangibly protect their interests. Michael serves on the Board of the Secure Cash and Transport Association (SCTA) and is a member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), and the American Society of Industrial Security (ASIS).
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