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Response to silvershadow (Original post)

Sun Aug 25, 2013, 06:27 AM

4. Not everyone with a TS clearance is a spy.

Many are just ordinary working stiffs--for example, the administrative assistant to many upper echelon flag/general officers will need a TS, because they will be handling the materials that cross their boss's desk.

Also, there is a difference between CLEARANCE and ACCESS, that many people do not appreciate.

Snowden, as a systems administrator, was given more latitude than he should have gotten, because he was an "equipment fixer" and could access many materials.

However, the average person working on a project, or having an area of expertise, will be given a clearance to work on those issues, but will not be given access to materials unrelated to that person's area.

For more about access, this article is helpful: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sensitive_Compartmented_Information

Eligibility for access to SCI is determined by a Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI) or periodic reinvestigation.[4] Because the same investigation is used to grant Top Secret clearances, the two are often written together as TS/SCI. Eligibility alone does not confer access to any specific SCI material - it is simply a qualification. One must receive explicit permission to access an SCI control system or compartment. This process may include a polygraph or other approved investigative or adjudicative action.[5] Once it is determined a person should have access to a SCI compartment, they sign a nondisclosure agreement, are "read in" or indoctrinated, and the fact of this access is recorded in a local access register or in a computer database. Upon termination from a particular compartment, the employee again signs the nondisclosure agreement.

Much more explanatory detail at the link.

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