Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Almost lost in the revelation of NSA data-gathering is the crisis that the leaker caused his employer. Booz Allen Hamilton is paid well to keep government secrets. Imagine its panic when an employee of three months, a former CIA operative, goes rogue. The company didn't hire him lightly. He went through multiple security clearances, and he had a resume that indicated he could be trusted. Whether or not one agrees with what Edward Snowden's exposure of government data gathering, one can feel sympathy for Booz Allen, whose thousands of employees but one have maintained secrecy. Now the company has to scour its ranks to make sure no one else talks in public, and it has to impress on its work force again the seriousness of secrecy -- as if they don't already know it. Snowden's fate will be a lesson whether he is apprehended and brought to trial or he wanders the world in search of safety. Booz Allen, meanwhile, has to justify itself to its client and assure them and members of Congress that it can do its job. That won't be easy. Already some legislators are calling for reduction in outsourcing to prevent exposure like this again.