A security clearance is a privilege, not a right. When you accept the privilege of access to classified information, you are also accepting the responsibilities that accompany this privilege.
This guide informs you of your responsibilities and provides information to help you fulfill them. Briefly, you are expected to:
Failure to comply with these responsibilities may result in adverse administration action including revocation of your security clearance. Deliberate violation for profit may be prosecuted. The Nondisclosure Agreement you signed when accepting your security clearance assigned to the U.S. Government the legal right to any payments, royalties or other benefits you might receive as a result of unauthorized disclosure of classified information.
When we study the history of foreign intelligence activities against the United States, one thing becomes very clear. When our adversaries or competitors are successful in obtaining classified or other sensitive information, it is usually due to negligence, willful disregard for security, or betrayal of trust by our own personnel.
Receiving your security clearance is a bit like a school graduation or a religious ceremony such as marriage. It is a rite of passage that marks a permanent change in your life. You accept new responsibilities and will be expected to meet them. Your responsibility to protect the classified information that you learn about is a LIFELONG obligation. It continues even after you no longer have an active security clearance. Your signed Nondisclosure Agreement is the only form held on file long after you retire (50 years!).
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