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Exclusive: Security Checks For Ed Researchers


It's like a bad episode of "Alias." Mild-mannered researchers working with the USDE are being asked (for the first time, apparently) to fill out investigative reports on themselves and submit to what seems like a security clearance in order to continue their work with the USDE.

"We all have to fill out security questionnaires and get background investigations (and credit checks)," writes one such researcher. "It's very invasive and I can't see the purpose of it other than to get as many people as possible into their homeland security database. Basically if you don't fill it out you can't work on ED projects."

Indeed, according to the eQIP form they've been asked to fill out, ""The United States Government conducts background investigations and reinvestigations to establish that applicants or incumbents either employed by the Government or working for the Government under contract, are suitable for the job and/or eligible for a public trust or sensitive position....Giving us the information we ask for is voluntary. However, we may not be able to complete your investigation, or complete it in a timely manner, if you don't give us each item of information we request. This may affect your placement or employment prospects."


I would like to hear from others if they are as disturbed about this as I and others I work with are.

I don't know about anything about "Alias" but it brings home the continuing shock that 2000's are turning about to be the 1980's from the book "1984."

I would especially like to hear if others are resisting this and how and if any groups like the ACLU are involved.

I know this is not new (e-Qip started in 2004?), but it is definitely a new extension of the system that seems very un-called for and screams for us to be very concerned with the direction of our government.

thanks, concerned -- i'd like to know, too -- it seems excessive and paranoid and ham-handed. i've heard that it started in earnest this past summer.

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