Overdrive Extra

Kevin Jones

NSA leaker cleared by firm that dings drivers

| July 08, 2013

Turns out there’s a connection between trucking and the man who went public with claims of a far-reaching government program to collect telephone and internet records of U.S. citizens.

No, NSA contract spy-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden didn’t try to make it as a truck driver before turning to a lucrative career in computers and skullduggery. But truck drivers might be perturbed by this revelation: The company that ran the background check on the nerdy patriot/rat is a corporate sibling of the firm that provides DAC reports.

What's your view of the NSA program -- clear government overreach or justifiable given the extent of threats abroad? Vote in the Overdrive poll via this link.

What’s your view of the NSA program — clear government overreach or justifiable given the extent of threats abroad? Vote in the Overdrive poll via this link.

There’s a small industry devoted to fighting the data sold by HireRight Solutions Inc., which specializes in background screening for transportation jobs (to say nothing of the hefty civil penalty levied against HireRight for violating several federal standards last year).

Yet when it comes to vetting applicants for top-secret jobs, maybe the process isn’t so thorough as it is in trucking.

At a recent Senate Homeland Security hearing, the inspector general for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management said USIS, the company that conducted the background investigation on Snowden, is under investigation itself. “Yes, we do believe that there may be some problems,” the IG testified.

Committee member Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) also mentioned an investigation into the company’s “systematic failure to adequately conduct investigations.”

USIS, in a statement, says the company has never been informed that it is under investigation.

USIS, aka US Investigations Services LLC, is currently the largest contractor doing security background checks for the federal government. USIS and DAC-provider HireRight merged in August 2008, creating “the largest employment screening company in the world,” according to the merger announcement.

Last August, HireRight agreed to pay $2.6 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act by failing to assure the maximum possible accuracy of information it provided, failing to give consumers copies of their reports, and failing to reinvestigate disputes as required by law. The case represented the first time the FTC has charged an employment background screening firm with violating the FCRA, and resulted in the second largest civil penalty that the FTC has obtained under the Act, according to the agency.

In addition to the $2.6 million penalty, the settlement put provisions in place to change how HireRight was to do business going forward.

Maybe truck drivers should apply for Top Secret clearance first: That should look good on a resumé — and then they could claim their Pre-employment Screening Program (PSP) records were classified?

  • No Reform

    Yep if they own DAC ya know it’s a joke.

  • kiko kika

    can you hear me now..here’s your sign..i don’t care who you are that’s funny right there now

  • http://www.truckertwotimes.com/ Truckertwotimes

    I can’t make much sense out of this article, I can say that Truck Drivers are monitored at a higher level of everything than those that run the people that run the world. The question should be has things got better or worse compaired to 20 years ago.

  • Liberty1776

    Now I hate Overdrive! Snowden is not a rat. Someone needs to pull this tyrannical government down somehow, he is a patriot unveiling the ANTI Constitutional laws and government which they are.
    So maybe Overdrive, you too are with the government communist sector, good for you, you can take your trash mag and flush it!

  • Craig Vecellio

    Take your meds and calm down. The article reads “patriot/rat” meaning that it depends on the reader’s point of view, not the authors.

  • Liberty1776

    whatever, no meds needed, even putting rat next to Patriot is blasphemy go drink your kool aid sheep

  • Craig Vecellio

    For the record, I agree that he is a Patriot, not a rat. I am not a sheep. Separating patriot from rat with a “/” is proper punctuation, not blasphemy, similar to he/she.. And yes, to be so easily inflamed that you immediately jump to personal attacks, you need meds.

  • Liberty1776

    Nope no meds needed. Ever hear the term Restore the Anger?
    If you keep up to date with what is going on in this country and where we are headed then maybe you would understand the two just don’t go together, no matter how you would like to explain it. Maybe you ought to take a little more time to get involved with your country and restore your anger too!


    I sent in for a copy of my DAC several years ago and received another driver’s DAC along with social security number and all driving history. I contacted them ( the one before HireRight/USIS, which I believe is really the same company under a different name) and they told me that they were sorry and they would get mine right out. I asked who they sent mine to and they said that would never happen because it’s impossible to get two mixed up. I almost tried to explain the situation again but gave up because I realized it was pointless to argue with a liar.

  • David S. McQueen

    Having used USIS as a pre-employment screener 20 years ago, I found that they were lacking in accuracy. I submitted a name to them (with appropriate identifiers) of a person who I KNEW had two felony convictions in Harris Co. TX. USIS failed to pick up on those convictions. USIS used sub-contractors to conduct public records searches and some of those folks were less than thorough.

  • King Vagabond

    Just to add a little more salt to the wounds of those who do the back ground checks, I’ll give you my experience.

    When I was working as an Iron Worker, I was applying for an unescorted access to a nuclear power plant and had to do a 10 year background check. a few weeks after submitting my information, I was informed that there was a problem with one of my employers. The particular employer was one of the largest construction firms in the world. It seems that they could not find contact information for them. I spent about 15 minutes obtaining contact information from the firm in question. I than called the investigating company. The investigator told me they didn’t need the information as they had been able to locate it them self! Yes, Mr. Snowdon is a patriot. It is about time someone spoke up to expose the constitutional abuses perpetrated by the mental midgets who cloak them selves in “security and Patriotism”.

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