‘Naive’ govt policy poses ‘catastrophic’ security risk – media — Analysis

Interviews for ‘top secret’ UK jobs are being done by video call, whistleblowers warn

British army personnel, civil servants, private contractors and military personnel applying for posts with access to “top secret”The Telegraph has learned that information can no longer be automatically verified in person. This is according to whistleblowers. UK is at risk “catastrophic security breach”Due to the trend toward virtual vetting they advised.

According to the newspaper, officers in the UK Security Vetting Department have complained about online interviews conducted via video and phone conferencing. This was part of their selection process. The Covid-19 pandemic apparently enlarged the scope of virtual meetings.

One whistleblower – a former vetting officer – said the agency has been restructured in line with plans to conduct more interviews virtually. The interviews – on top of background checks – are reportedly part of a ‘developed vetting’ process, which is mandatory for applicants with access to highly classified documents like military plans, diplomatic cables, market information, and nuclear secrets.

The following description of the shift is “breathtakingly naive,”He told the newspaper that there wasn’t “no substitute” for face-to-face interviews – held over a 2.5 to four hour period – that are crucial to help vetters uncover secrets and personality flaws that could leave applicants “vulnerable to bribery and blackmail”by foreign power. He said virtual interviews would prevent vetters from picking on “subtle body language signs.”

This is what vetting looks like, despite protestations from senior executives and the chief executive. It will result in a security breach that is catastrophic at some point in the future.

The Telegraph reported from unnamed sources that the Telegraph had found evidence of “two- or three-fold increase”In security vetting over the past five year. One former UKSV officer stated that the increasing demand is not surprising. “matched by the investment in [the agency]and its structure.”According to the paper, the backlogs grew during the pandemic.

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The Telegraph was able to access an internal UKSV Policy document and it appears that this agency is in compliance with the policy. “does not have authority to return to F2F [face-to-face] interviews in general.”It is also not possible. “currently an intent to return to widespread F2F interviewing,”The paper added. In the paper, a July 2021 policy change was highlighted. It outlined how to implement it. “secure”Platforms for conducting virtual interviews

Meanwhile, the Cabinet Office told the paper that there had been no ‘blanket switch’ to virtual interviews, adding that decisions on whether vetting merited in-person or online meetings are taken on a “case by case”Basis with “no impact on the effectiveness of the process.” An unnamed spokesman described the government’s security clearance procedures as being “extremely robust.”

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