Is the government going to ask me if I’ve sent nudes? Like all things security clearance related, the answer is perhaps..perhaps…perhaps.

Nude photos may seem like none of the government’s business, but with sexual behavior an adjudicative guideline and blackmail a key national security concern, a growing number of security clearance applicants are in fact being asked about their nude photo history in suitability interviews, polygraph examinations, and other aspects of the government’s hiring process.

Sending nude photos of yourself is not an automatic security clearance disqualifier, but like all issues will be considered in light of the whole person concept. The government may ask you who have sent photos to, and how you would feel if those photos came into the public light. If you’re considering applying for a security clearance now is a good time to do a bit of digital clean up. Yes, your online activities can have security clearance eligibility repercussions.

Taylor Swift is shining an additional spotlight on more than just the Kansas City Chiefs. Explicit deep fakes of the pop singer are highlighting the growing prevalence of fake explicit content on the web, as well. Security clearance holders or applicants shouldn’t shy away from possible sextortion or criminal activities that exploit them – report issues to your security officer and local law enforcement, and don’t fall into the trap that an explicit photo – fake or otherwise – should cost you your clearance.


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Lindy Kyzer is the director of content at Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email Interested in writing for Learn more here.. @LindyKyzer