Understanding Guideline B: Foreign Influence

  • Guideline B: Foreign Influence

Published: November 21, 2022

Many employees and contractors of the United States federal government, military personnel, government officials, and other individuals charged with upholding public safety and the public good who require access to classified information in the course of performing their duties are required to obtain and maintain a security clearance. However, many who apply are denied a security clearance because of a variety of concerns, including what is known as “foreign influence.” In this article, we will discuss one of the common reasons for the rejection of a security clearance application, and the facts you need to understand Guideline B: Foreign Influence of the Director of National Intelligence’s Adjudicative Guidelines. The DNI serves in the executive role for the entire Executive branch’s personnel security program.

WHAT IS GUIDELINE B? When discussing adjudicative guidelines for evaluating security clearances, Security Executive Agent Directive (SEAD) 4 outlines the concerns around Guideline B as follows:

“Foreign contacts and interests, including, but not limited to, business, financial, and property interests, are a national security concern if they result in divided allegiance. They may also be a national security concern if they create circumstances in which the individual may be manipulated or induced to help a foreign person, group, organization, or government in a way inconsistent with U.S. interests or otherwise made vulnerable to pressure or coercion by any foreign interest.”

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