Porn and Clearance Reinvestigation

I am 4 years into a federal career as an engineer for the DOD and am eligible for a secret clearance. I regularly view pornhub and other sources of legal adult pornography (sites that display 2257) on my home computer - however never at work or on work hours. Additionally, I have never had any criminal history.

I sometimes worry/obsess about things and have performed google searches to the effect of “is pornhub legal” or “is there any illegal content on pornhub” This has yielded various results (which I have read over) such as quora, yahoo answers, and attorney advice websites of people asking about possibly stumbling across illegal content while viewing these sites.

While I never have never searched for or viewed illegal content before, I am worried that the mere act of performing a google search of the above quoted phrases could come up in a background investigation down the road and lead to further questions or denial.

I know that social media usage and public online history is investigated, however am I unnecessarily worried about my internet search/browsing history coming up in my re-investigation down the road?

yes

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I am a little confused on how you think your browsing history would be able to be viewed without a subpoena for physical access to your computer itself (or in the very least its MAC address and/or IP), and then a warrant/subpoena to actively search/trace the activities. I mean no offense by asking this, but are you aware how internet traffic works? Also, there is no section on the SF-86 that would even address this type of thing, and it would only come up if directly asked (for some very odd reason) or if one of your references was like, “Oh yeah govemployee123 is really into watching naked people swimming around in huge vats of mac n’ cheese.”

If you haven’t viewed any illegal material and aren’t doing anything illegal when it comes to your sexual habits (prostitutes, underage partners, etc) then you have nothing to worry about IMO and this will not even come up.

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Thanks for the quick reply! Reassuring

You’re welcome! Just fill out any/all forms honestly, and if a question isn’t asked don’t offer an answer! Also, I hope my asking about your knowledge of internet traffic didn’t come off as too gruff or harsh, I just wanted you to know that it isn’t as simple as some agency typing in your name and it returns a list of everything you have ever Google’d or done. Good luck!

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I was a BI for several years now working on the office side of persec I can safely say I have never asked about or seen any references to anything of this nature in the roughly 6 years I’ve been in this field. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen, but there would have to be some very particular circumstances around your internet use for anything about this to come up during an investigation. Just keep it out of the office/work pc so you don’t get flagged by the IT person and you’ll be fine.

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Thanks @CE9912675 (no worries by the way, I just didn’t know how in depth the background investigation may be able to see) and @buddha724. As I say, I was mainly concerned that someone might question why I would have searched for/visited legal advice websites despite not having actually viewed anything illegal. Your responses are much appreciated and calm any paranoia I may have.

The ONLY concern would be if your usage is something someone could blackmail, coerce, pressure you with. Say you’re married and viewing gay pornhub and someone knows it, could they use it against you to get info they want? Far fetched but all it would take would be a couple Sources or references to answer when asked “if they knew of anything the a person could use to blackmail you”? “Well yes the dude likes gay porn and would die if his wife found out”. The Investigator would have to resolve the issue which would mean asking you some embarrassing questions. But under normal porn viewing circumstances, your safe.

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The day we have to cover a Subject’s browsing history is the day I quit. I don’t even want to know. Lol

Yikes.

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Thanks to all for the replies. This is all very reassuring and gives me no reason to fear. It sounds like I have been worries much about nothing.

My only last concern is that this morning prior to starting work, I opened my personal gmail on my work computer to respond to a question from a friend. On opening my email, one of the unread emails was the notification of responses to this thread which of course had the word “porn” in the subject line. Of course I did not open that email nor this page and the only email I responded to was the question from my friend about an upcoming event. Is this something that could be flagged by the IT department simply due to the presence of the word “porn” on a webpage? Or since it is https would it be harder to flag?

Sorry if this is total paranoia…

You’re fine. On top of my several years in PerSec I’m working on a career change into IT… I’m 99% sure all the IT folks would have seen is Gmail traffic on their network, not specific screenshots of your desktop. If they’re doing screen captures of employees they’d need a small army of IT folks to facilitate that along with people to skim through them… ain’t nobody got time, or money, for that.

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Now, if you require a full poly, and offer up questionable searches…that can cause stress, bp increase, heart rate increase, paus longer than normal…all great stuff for the polygrapher to pick apart. I’ve been in a Poly slot 10 years now, had 4 polygraphs. They all suck. But walking in I’m prepared to answer “I absolutely have” to the have you viewed pornographic sites question possibility.

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Thank you all for then replies!

I once tried to google the medical abbreviation PRN (to see what the actual term was when spelled out) on my work computer a week after I started my new job. Of course google autocorrected it. I had a mini panic but laugh about it now haha.

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