Reports say that US government officials are debating whether or not owning a cryptocurrency should be considered a problem for those who have special clearances to access classified government information. The Pentagon currently classifies anyone ‘risky’ for owning cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum.
The Pentagon and the Defense Security Service (DSS) revealed this past Friday that they have been working on guidelines for reporting cryptocurrency ownership. Another report, published on May 22nd, says the debate is currently on-going and government contractors are already upset about the addition of other security clearance issues.
Param Vir Singh, a Director for Financial Services Innovation at Carnegie Mellon University believes that cryptocurrencies are risky in terms of security.
Singh holds the view that “there are a lot of good things about cryptocurrencies, but at the same time there are these security risks.”
“Think about a knife: It could be used for good things and it can be used for bad things as well.”
Adam Reese, a columnist recently reported that an email from Chad M. Campbell, a DSS employee suggests that those applying for US special clearance need to report their cryptocurrency holdings on the agency’s standard Form 86 (SF86).
Reese also revealed that the Defense Security Service Public Affairs office had told him that “DSS has fielded a number of questions from industry as to whether ownership of cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, should be reported by cleared persons or security clearance applicants.”
The Public Affairs office further informed Reese that “There is no current Department of Defense guidance related to the reporting of ownership of cryptocurrencies. DSS is working with DOD policy offices for further clarification and once such guidance is issued, DSS will ensure the widest dissemination to industry. Additionally, the email [Campbell’s email] was an internal discussion document which was not intended to serve as policy guidance.”