Reporting Outside Activities

You are required to report in writing to your security office any planned or actual outside employment or activity that could create a real or apparent conflict with your responsibility to protect classified information from unauthorized disclosure.1 This includes any service – whether volunteer, compensated, or employment – with:

  • Any foreign country, foreign national, or representative of any foreign interest, and
  • Any foreign, domestic, or international organization or person engaged in analysis, discussion, or publication of material on intelligence, defense, foreign affairs, or protected technology.2

A leadership role in a professional, commercial, scholarly, or advocacy organization should be reported if the organization’s activity is in a subject area related to your classified activities. The security office will generally approve any activity that can be shown to pose no conflict with your security responsibilities.

If an individual becomes disgruntled with his or her classified work and wants to develop the outside activity into an alternative career, there may be a strong temptation to deliberately reveal classified information. This happened in the case of Samuel Morison, who was convicted of espionage and theft of government property as a consequence of outside employment with a British publication. The Morison case lead to Outside Activities being included as one of what is now 13 criteria used to adjudicate security clearances.

1. DCID 6/4, paragraph 11 and Annex C.
2. Adjudicative Guidelines.


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