While WikiLeaks continues to be a source of controversy and intrigue, federal job seekers should steer far clear of the site if they want to obtain or keep security clearance.
Several schools have sent emails to students warning them against commenting on or posting links to WikiLeaks documents on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter, including Boston University’s School of Law, Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). Each email came from the schools’ career offices.
The Office of Management and Budget sent a memo federal workers and contractors forbidding unauthorized viewing and accessing classified documents on WikiLeaks site, on government or personal computers.
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“Classified information, whether or not already posted on public websites or disclosed to the media, remains classified, and must be treated as such by federal employees and contractors, until it is declassified by an appropriate U.S. Government authority,” the memo said.
However, even if federal job candidates do not post or comment on classified material, they could be asked whether they’ve viewed the site or any classified information on the site during a personnel security interview, according to an article in the Washington Post.
“The security clearance asks whether or not you’re a risk when it comes to sensitive material. This could be one indicator that, when taken together with others, creates a broader pattern that might suggest you’re not a person to be hired,” said Pepperdine University law professor Gregory McNeal, who specializes in national security law, as reported by CNN.