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This article was published on May 14, 2016

    Federal government to begin mining social media as part of background checks

    Federal government to begin mining social media as part of background checks
    Bryan Clark
    Story by

    Bryan Clark

    Former Managing Editor, TNW

    Bryan is a freelance journalist. Bryan is a freelance journalist.

    If you need security clearance from the federal government, it’s probably wise to stop being an idiot on social media. According to a new policy approved by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, the government can now review your social media channels if you are an employee or contractor seeking security clearance for a federal job.

    “Social media has become an integral—and very public—part of the fabric of most Americans’ daily lives,” Bill Evanina, director of ODNI’s National Counterintelligence and Security Center told the Wall Street Journal. “We cannot afford to ignore this important open source in our effort to safeguard our secrets—and our nation’s security.”

    The policy, announced today, doesn’t allow for investigators to require (or request) you to give up your login information or mine for private messages and posts. They also can’t create fake accounts to friend or follow these accounts in an attempt to get more information.

    What they can do, however, is monitor public postings, which is something we should all expect of our employers at this point anyway.