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2. Whether motivated by the challenge of penetrating the system, or by simple curiosity to "see what's in there," unauthorized entry into any computer file is a deliberate disregard for rules and regulations. It involves violation of the need-to-know principle or invasion of privacy. Some people assume that unauthorized entry into a computer file is not a serious offense. That is wrong. It can be a basis for revocation of your security clearance.

Failure to comply with expected standards of personal conduct may cause your eligibility for security clearance to be reevaluated. The formal process for initial approval or subsequent revocation of a security clearance is called "adjudication." This adjudicative process is guided by a regulation entitled "Adjudicative Guidelines for Determining Eligibility for Access to Classified Information," approved by the President in March 1997.

Owing to the magnitude of problems that can be caused by misuse of computer systems, Misuse of Information Technology Systems is now one of the 13 guidelines used to adjudicate granting and revocation of clearances. These guidelines apply to all U.S. Government and cleared contractor employees.

Related Topics: Appropriate Use of Computer Systems, Standards of Personal Conduct.