500,000 Contractors Can Access NSA Data Hoards

Natasha Lennard | Salon | June 11, 2013

Firms like Booz Allen have army of employees, but only Snowden spoke up

As Tim Shorrock pointed out as long ago as 2007 (and reminded us in light of the NSA leaks) “about 70 percent of our national intelligence budgets being spent on the private sector.” The AP reported Tuesday that nearly 500,000 contractors — employees like whistleblower Edward Snowden — have access to the government’s top secret programs.

Of the 4.9 million people with clearance to access “confidential and secret” government information, 1.1 million, or 21 percent, work for outside contractors, according to a report from Clapper’s office. Of the 1.4 million who have the higher “top secret” access, 483,000, or 34 percent, work for contractors.