Anonymous User wrote:shyde32 wrote:Anonymous User wrote:I am 0L but interested in this too. I am aiming for DHS/DoJ/CIA, etc honors program. Lots of international travel, the most concerning of which was in one of the arab countries (for a government program) that just had a revolution, so a lot of people i know protested etc, some of it on my facebook. I also had a pretty tough childhood with use of drugs and a lot of trouble at school but no charges. Since then, I have smoked pot etc on very rare occasions and stopped completely for the last 4 years. Also, what about internet searches (i.e., streaming TV from bootleg websites). Do you think this will pose a problem for clearances? At what level would I be concerned?
I have heard of people getting denied clearance for traveling in a foreign country; the important thing for you is that your travel can be verified. On every clearance I've ever heard of (and this will definitely be true for national security/intelligence clearances), you will be asked to tell them every country you've ever traveled to. You'll also have to provide contact information for someone who can vouch for your whereabouts, especially in a country that will raise a red flag. Since you were on a government program, that shouldn't be a problem, but make sure you're able to do this for everywhere else you've been. I know of one instance of a person getting denied because the government couldn't verify a few weeks of travel.
The drug use issue gets a lot of people worried, for obvious reasons. As a general rule, there are two things that will determine how strict they will be in my experience. First, how close are they to the drug war? So, no surprise, DEA is the strictest, followed by FBI. Both of those agencies are housed in Justice, but other parts of Justice might be more lenient. Second, how close are they to the military? I think this has less to do with the policy goals of the agency and more to do with the general culture of the place, but DoD can sometimes take a harder line. DHS is a new department which brought together a lot of disparate agencies, so I don't really know how their culture works. I do know that the civilian intelligence agencies like CIA are supposed to be fairly lenient. And, finally, I think most places will look somewhat kindly on your situation because you haven't used much since you were an adult.
I wouldn't worry too much about downloading things illegally from the internet, although again, don't lie if asked. This is especially true since the jobs you're pursuing might require a polygraph. Finally, if there's anything on your Facebook you wouldn't want them to see, DELETE IT. You have to assume they will check.
Very informative response. Thanks.
Some of this information isn't very accurate. I was a security manager, user to get the SIF's denying clearances, and used to escort the OPM investigators around.
Foreign travel doesn't disqualify anyone from a clearance. Nor do foreign contacts unless they are a known spy or something. I know people with TS/Yankee White (highest you can get) that are married to foreign nationals from non-ally countries.
Nor do they outright deny you for missing information. A SIF would be generated and sent to your servicing SMO, who would then contact you and ask for more information and an explanation. This information would be verified and the file would be sent to the central adjudication facility where someone rubs a crystal ball and decides if you're trustworthy enough for a clearance. The person may have told people they were denied for missing travel information but that isn't possible.
Drug use policies are set by each agency and each agencies requirements can be found online. The key is to be honest and have time between use and application.
No clearances requires a polygraph. They are used only if fraud is suspected and for SAP (which you aren't going for). FBI/CIA/DSS use for hiring purposes but not strictly for clearance. The questions they can ask are strictly limited and they are required to go over them with you prior. It is nothing like on tv.
For a summer job, you'd have a secret clearance (at most) which involves a NACLAC & credit check. Thats national/local agency criminal verification and credit. They don't interview anyone and are looking for things that suggest you are completely unreliable. These can take as little as a month and as long as 6 months when their is a backlog at OPM.
Top Secrets take 3-6+ months for someone who already has a secret. For a Top Secret, you'd have a SSBI check and they would interview the people you put down. The standards are slightly more stringent but are still looking for things people may be able to hold over your head or suggestions you can't be trusted.