Anyone who works in any level of government intelligence, and many other military personnel, require security clearance to do that jobs. If you have a job that requires security clearance, the revocation of that clearance could be catastrophic to your career and your family.
If you are being investigated for a security violation or if you have reason to believe you could be under such investigation, it is important to protect your rights. Understanding the possible causes for clearance revocation is a good start for defending yourself and keeping your security clearance.
Reasons for revocation
According to the Department of Defense Directive’s Defense Industrial Personnel Security Clearance Review Program, a person’s security clearance could be revoked for the following reasons:
- Allegiance to the United States: If there is anything on record that could reasonably question your allegiance to the United States, including foreign influence or foreign preference, it could be strong grounds for revocation of your security clearance.
- Sexual behavior: There are numerous examples of sexual indiscretion that could be cause for revocation. Criminal sexual behavior, pornography and repeated, high-risk sexual behavior are all examples that suggest lack of self-control and trustworthiness to retain security clearance.
- Personal conduct: This is a catch-all category for behaviors not covered elsewhere in this section that could suggest lack of trustworthiness for holding security clearance. General rule-breaking behavior, untrustworthiness and associated with known criminals can all result in revocation.
- Financial considerations: If you are not trustworthy with your finances, you will likely not be considered trustworthy with national security.
- Alcohol consumption and drug involvement: Excessive drinking creates a much higher likelihood of careless or impulsive behavior that could cause a security risk. Association with drugs is not only illegal but it also creates questions about reliability and trustworthiness.
- Emotional, mental, and personality disorders: Psychological issues could suggest irrational behavior that causes security risks. Although a mental health diagnosis is a stronger case for this type of revocation, it is not necessary.
- Criminal conduct: Obviously, someone convicted of serious criminal activity could present security risks, so this is a common cause for clearance revocation.
- Security violations: This is perhaps the most obvious of all the causes for security clearance revocation. When someone commits violations of security regulations, that person is probably a higher risk for compromising security.
- Outside activities: The concern with this category involves dealings with other countries and foreign entities that could compromise national security.
- Misuse of Information Technology Systems: Most of these cases involve unauthorized use of information technology systems, which usually means looking at pornography on a work computer, sending sexually inappropriate emails or the unauthorized viewing of other people’s correspondences.
Clearly, there are many reasons for a revocation. Considering how broadly some of these reasons are written, almost anything that gives your superiors reason to think you could be a security risk would be adequate reason to revoke your clearance.
It is critical to discuss your case with an experienced military defense lawyer. You need to defend your security clearance to protect your future and your career.