U.S. authorities are searching for the whereabouts of Edward Snowden, who may have damaged national security with his admitted leak of the National Security Agency secret programs.
The Snowden scandal has also triggered a diplomatic war of words between the U.S. and Russia.
“He (Snowden) is a traitor,” said Tom Panuzio, Homeland Security Expert. “He signed up as having a top secret clearance to protect and to serve the constitution of the United States.”
As a former FEMA official, Panuzio carried the same top secret clearance.
“Those clearances have 20-25 years of background checks,” Panuzio said. “You sign a piece of paper you acknowledge that you can never share information going forward”.
According to experts, the Snowden scandal will make the U.S. government change the way it hands out security clearance. Government contractors will be reporting to work inside the new Utah data center in Bluffdale by this fall, and they are likely to bear the brunt of the changes in security checks.
“Much more scrutiny on defense contractors and their employees, additional screening measures,” said Panuzio, “and then a post clearance screening to make sure they're not sharing any of this information.”
According to Panuzio, the exact time when the security changes take place are still unknown, and they might have to be mandated by Congress first. Administrators would need to sift through all of the nation's 480,000 government contractors around the world with top secret clearance.
U.S. authorities want Snowden back to the country, and they are asking other countries to not harbor him or even allow him to pass through.
Reports have it that Snowden was at an airport in Moscow. However, Russian president Vladimir Putin says his nation does not have an extradition agreement with the U.S, so Snowden can travel anywhere he wants without documentation.