The recent leak of classified Pentagon documents has highlighted the vulnerability of the system which grants access to classified government information.
Initially suspected to have been an intelligence operation by a state actor, the FBI has now arrested a 21-year-old member of the intelligence wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard. The suspect is believed to have been motivated by impressing fellow members of an online chat group. As our chart shows, the federal government grants top secret security clearance to large numbers of government employees and contractors: 1.25 million according to the latest publicly available figures.
In Ireland on Thursday, President Biden spoke publicly for the first time on the leak, saying there was a "full-blown" investigation into the issue and that despite the potentially damaging nature of the leak, "“there’s nothing contemporaneous that I’m aware of that is of great consequence.”