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  • what precisely are security clearances and where did they come from?

  • Security clearances are issued by many government agencies and can come in several different levels, offering different access to sensitive or classified material.

  • And even if you have the highest level of clearance, that's not an invitation to plunder all files.

  • You will likely see Onley materials you need to know about who get security clearances.

  • As a practical matter, they go to people who are intimately involved in the safety and defense of the United States and its allies.

  • Now, this is not all military business.

  • For example, there could be economic information or infrastructure details or negotiations with other countries, which might be considered highly sensitive and fall under this umbrella.

  • But all of this has to do with active government service.

  • So why should anyone who's left the government retain his or her security clearance?

  • Former employees of an agency have experience.

  • They have institutional knowledge, and the people who take over for them may need that.

  • Say you worked on some classified matter involving another country, and a new team comes in.

  • They need to know what you did.

  • This would assist the new team to be able to talk to you about the current situation as well.

  • In addition, some private industries defense contractors, for example, do work that requires private citizens to deal with sensitive government matters.

  • So having a security clearance outside the government can also be useful.

  • So why would anyone lose or have their security clearance revoked?

  • Usually that happens because they truly no longer need it or some conflict has arisen.

  • For example, they start working for a foreign, hostile government, or they just get into trouble.

  • They commit a crime or they're linked to some illicit or risky activity.

what precisely are security clearances and where did they come from?

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