Foreign intelligence agencies often recruit spies and double agents within the American government by targeting federal employees in financial distress. Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) says the passage of a bill in the House of Representatives today will prevent those intelligence agencies from finding financially-troubled feds with only a few clicks of the mouse.
Moran applauded the passage of bill S. 3625, which will delay certain provisions of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act from taking effect. The provisions would have required automatic online posting of the financial disclosure forms of 28,000 senior federal employees (GS-15 and SES level). The forms could reveal information about employees’ stock portfolio, real estate investments, and retirement funds.
In an Op-Ed in the Federal Times, Moran wrote:
Under the proposed online system our enemies around the world might be able to search thousands of records with a single keystroke — anonymously exploiting an easily accessible database to search for subtle differences in financial disclosures.
If analyzed closely, these differences might betray the identity of members of the intelligence community, while simultaneously providing information to our enemies as to which employees might be struggling financially — a known criteria used by foreign intelligence services to target individuals for espionage.
The bill, which will now head to the president’s desk following today’s voice vote in the House, will delay the online reporting provisions for senior federal employees from taking effect until Dec. 8. It also requires a study of “issues raised by website publication of financial disclosure forms” by the National Academy of Public Administration.
Earlier this month, a federal judge blocked enforcement of the STOCK Act until Oct. 31, after the American Civil Liberties Union argued that posting employees’ financial information is a violation of their privacy.
The full press release from Rep. Moran’s office, after the jump.
Photo courtesy Andrew Clegg
According to a leading jobs website for those with security clearances, the average security-cleared employee in the Washington region earned $97,838 in 2011.
ClearanceJobs.com says that figure represents a 4 percent increase from one year ago. By comparison, the national average security-cleared salary was $76,152 in 2011. According to the website’s survey, there was no pay gap between men and women working in the same position.
Though average salaries may be high, security-cleared workers are increasingly worried about the future. The survey — of 11,000 security-cleared professionals — indicated that 43 percent were afraid of the loss of contract funding, 40 percent were afraid of increased work loads as a result of staff cuts, 38 percent were afraid of their position being eliminated, and 31 percent worried about their position being relocated, perhaps as a result of BRAC.
Passenger Protests, Midwest Weather Could Cause Airport Delays — Flying out of Dulles or Reagan National Airport today could be a challenge. On the busiest travel day of the Thanksgiving holiday, thousands of passengers are planning a nationwide, grassroots revolt against the TSA’s use of full-body scanners. Instead of going through the machines, they will protest by insisting on a time-consuming pat-down. That, combined with a storm system in the upper Midwest could cause delays. So far, however, flights at DCA and IAD are on time. More from the Washington Post.
Crystal City Renaissance Hotel To Open in March — A new LEED-certified Renaissance Hotel is coming to the quickly-developing area south of Crystal City and north of Potomac Yard. The hotel, located at 2800 South Potomac Avenue, is expected to open in March 2011. Rooms will initially start at $299 per night, according to HotelChatter.com.
Wilson’s on Whitlow’s is “Coming Soon” – TBD has photos of Wilson’s on Whitlow’s, the new Tiki bar above Whitlow’s on Wilson. Owner Greg Cahill says the bar’s opening is “coming soon,” pending county permits. Place your bets in the comments section on what will come first: the area’s first snowfall or the opening of Whitlow’s rooftop bar. More from TBD.
Flickr pool photo by BrianMKA
Rep. Jim Moran couldn’t give a hoot about the controversial “naked” body scans and saucy pat-downs now in place at America’s airports.
The recently re-elected congressman told TBD’s NewsTalk that he supports measures to make air travel safer, even if they’re invasive or embarrassing.
“I could care less whether somebody feels me up or somebody sees what I look like without my clothes… I think it’s something you just have to live with.”
Do you agree?
Lyon Hall Opening by Mid-April — Lyon Hall manager Andrew Limberg tells the Washington Post that they’ve passed their inspections and expect to open within two weeks. Writes WaPo’s Julia Beizer: “Let’s give it up for Arlington, right? Crazy stuff happening over there.” More from today’s Going Out Gurus chat (near the bottom).
Pentagon Security Heightened — The Pentagon police agency will step up its screening of visitors and will conduct more random checks of employees, according to the Associated Press. The Pentagon Force Protection Agency will also improve communication protocols at its command center. The new security measures follow last month’s shooting outside the Pentagon Metro station.
Arlington Volunteer Blog Launched — The Community Volunteer Network has launched a new blog. CVN is a social network that brings 20- and 30-somethings together through community service in Arlington.
Bike Show Planned for April 8 — Not-for-profit bike shop Phoenix Bikes is holding a bike show one week from today in Ballston. The third-annual show will feature an art show, a silent auction, a raffle for free bikes donated by local shops, food, and speeches by local movers and shakers in the bike world. More from People-Powered Arlington.