Quote:Number of Security Clearances Soars
September 20th, 2011
by Steven Aftergood
The number of persons who held security clearances for access to classified information last year exceeded 4.2 million — far more than previously estimated — according to a new intelligence community report to Congress (pdf).
The report, which was required by the FY2010 intelligence authorization act, provides the first precise tally of clearances held by federal employees and contractors that has ever been produced. The total figure as of last October 1 was 4,266,091 cleared persons. See “Report on Security Clearance Determinations for Fiscal Year 2010,” (pdf) Office of the Director of National Intelligence, September 2011.
In 2009, the Government Accountability Office had told Congress that about 2.4 million people held clearances “excluding some of those with clearances who work in areas of national intelligence.” (“More Than 2.4 Million Hold Security Clearances,” Secrecy News, July 29, 2009). But even with a generous allowance for hundreds of thousands of additional intelligence personnel, that estimate somehow missed more than a million clearances.
Likewise, one of the many startling findings in the 2010 Washington Post series (and 2011 book) “Top Secret America” by Dana Priest and William M. Arkin, was that “An estimated 854,000 people, nearly 1.5 times as many people as live in Washington, D.C., hold top-secret security clearances.”
But remarkably, that too was a significant underestimate, according to the new report. In actual fact, as of October 2010 there were 1,419,051 federal employees and contractors holding Top Secret clearances.
Full Story: http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/2011/09/clearances.html
Departments include but are not limited to the CIA, DHS, US Treasury, DOE, DIA, DEA, FBI, NGA, NRO, STATE, USAF, US Army, US Navy, US Coast and Guard and the US Marine Corps including designated contractors.
That's a lot of people holding a lot of secrets. Information is currency and that's quite a marketplace.