Look closely at this picture. Notice anything, or more accurately, anyone familiar?

In a not-so-surprising move, Edward Snowden appeared via satellite robot (middle and far right screen) from somewhere in Russia at yesterday’s 2014 TED conference in Vancouver, reports Mashable.

The NSA whistleblower’s latest revelation? We ain’t seen nothing yet.

That’s a hefty thing to say considering what Snowden is already internationally infamous (seriously… the guy pops up everyday on Google):

Australian law enforcement wants to hold web data longer because of Snowden

Italy’s treatment of journalists rises following Snowden reporting

Guardian editor earns European Press Award for Snowden story

Chinese op. ed. compares Snowden to another controversial person in American intelligence

Snowden snowed us all

Just in case you’ve been living under a rock, here’s Snowden’s 3-sentence story:

Computer whiz kid gets hired by Central Intelligence Agency then as contractor for National Security Agency. Said whiz kid downloads, stores and then releases through worldwide media classified information about America’s intelligence gathering and spy networks as well as international intelligence information from nations like England and Australia. Considered by some to be a whistleblower on government privacy malpractice and others to be a traitor, the now ex-contractor seeks asylum for his actions and lands in Russia, where he now mysteriously continues to release classified information and pop up in guest-speaking engagements across the globe.


One of 665,000

Which brings us to today’s topic – how on earth did he pass his background screen?

Depending on your opinion of Snowden, you can “thank” USIS, the self-proclaimed leader of government background screening for federal employees. Either you love the fact that Snowden  leaked the documents and brought personal privacy rights into question, or you love that USIS’ failure to properly vet Snowden will result in more rigorous testing for government workers (we dissected some of this last week).

In the meantime, the US government is suing USIS for fraud after uncovering more than 665,000 incomplete or ‘dumped’ screening reports for which it paid big bucks. USIS was supposed to be conducting background screening on employees for the US Departments of Defense, Justice, Treasury and Homeland Security, among others. Instead, the lawsuit alleges updated revenue goals following a re-branding effort spurred the fraud. Slipping through the cracks of these shoddy screenings were Edward Snowden and Aaron Alexis, who murdered a dozen people during a shooting spree at the DC Navy Yard.

Comprehensive Screening

So what SHOULD background screening for a government employee look like? The Partnership for Public Service states “Everyone hired for a federal job undergoes a basic background check of his or her criminal and credit histories to ensure that all federal employees are “reliable, trustworthy, of good conduct and character, and loyal to the United States.” The U.S. Office of Personnel Management, a central agency that serves as the corporate human resources organization for the federal government, performs the majority of background checks. In addition, federal positions that include access to sensitive information generally require a security clearance. This clearance must be obtained to determine the applicant’s trustworthiness and reliability before granting him or her access to national security information.”

Active Screening understands that our background screenings are only as good as our integrity. We pride ourselves on our trustworthy and ethical investigators and our comprehensive and transparent screening services. If, at any time during the screening process, you have questions about our procedures, we have answers.

Here is a sampling of what we examine for your government hires:

* Identity &Credit

* Driver’s Records

* Criminal Records

* References & Credentialing

* Substance Abuse Testing

* Electronic I-9 Solutions

* Global Solutions

* Applicant Entry Solutions

Vetting government workers, whether they are park district gardeners or your city attorney, is tricky stuff. Let us do the difficult work for you. We know the law and how to comply with it. We’ll save you money and mitigate your risk. We will find the red flags before they turn into Edward Snowden. Trust us.

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