This may be a silly question but thought I would ask anyways. I’ve come across conflicting information about sexting as it pertains to clearance or suitability process. Would exchanging intimate photos with a partner or spouse be a roadblock to clearance if there are no other outstanding issues, such as foreign nationality of the partner or infidelity? Would it even need to be disclosed? It seems private and discreet but also a serious potential blackmail issue since transmitted photos are never completely secure.
The fact that you have exchanged pictures with someone is not reportable or an issue in getting a clearance. It is what can happen later on that is the concern. See this article:
Thanks for the link. A follow up question if you don’t mind; If photos were exchanged with an ex partner or someone fairly trusted (rather than a stranger as the article says) would it need to be disclosed to an interviewer if one asks about potential coercion or blackmail possibilities? Would it need to be disclosed to family and friends to mitigate blackmail before the process begins?
My understanding is that they are only worried about foreign nationals being able to coerce you.
Of course, as that site indicates, if someone does end up trying to coerce you or blackmail you over nudes, you should report to security. But my read is that they are only looking for this from foreign nationals.
I also don’t think that this would be a ‘roadblock’ to a clearance as much as a speedbump. If I were in your shoes, I would bring it up with the investigator just to clear your conscience, but I seriously doubt they will make anything out of it.
Edit: This article seems to deal with your question directly.
Thanks for the response. I agree, it seems like it wouldn’t be that big of a deal if there is no real or immediate concern about blackmail. The article you linked, though, makes it seem like the issue is much more serious than a speedbump. I guess like everything it depends on context.
I do not recall details but there was a story that went like this:
Agent: “We have compromising photos of you. We need you to give us information or we will shoe them to everyone, destroying your career.”
Target: “May I see these pictures?”
Agent: hands target a stack of embarrassing nude photos
Target: “Oh can you get me this one in 8x10 and the rest in 5x7 glossy please? And might you have more? Thank you very much.”
The point is not who you do what with (as long as they are of legal age, etc) but if the incident can be used to blackmail or turn you.
When my background was dug as deep as possible, I learned to not only stop hiding skeletons in my closet, but instead to take them out and dance with them. There have been a few people on this board I have spoken with personally regarding my background to give them plenty of hope regarding theirs.