Reality Winner Had High Security Clearance. She Isn't Alone

The 25-year-old is charged with leaking an NSA document
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 6, 2017 3:47 PM CDT
Reality Winner Just One of Many Youths With High Security Clearance
Reality Winner, 25, was charged Monday with leaking an NSA document on the Russian hacking of US electoral systems.   (Instagram)

Reality Winner was charged Monday with leaking a document about the Russian hacking of US electoral systems. One of the most surprising things, according to NBC News, was that a 25-year-old had top-level security clearance. But apparently it's not that unusual. Most people who do NSA work involving intercepting communications and translation are just out of high school. "There are thousands and thousands of 18- to 21-year-olds doing critically important and secret work around the world," an expert on the NSA says. Many of them, like Winner, are young members of the military. She served six years in the Air Force. A high security clearance is needed to listen in on terrorists or members of foreign governments.

Intelligence officials are concerned that Winner is part of a growing number of American intelligence employees leaking state secrets not for money but because they feel the public has a right to know the information. The election of President Trump is making people feel like they need to take action. CNN details Winner's anti-Trump comments on social media. And ABC News has more information on the 25-year-old, including that she speaks Pashto, Farsi, and Dari and had recently worked as a yoga instructor, where she was known as a "reliable" employee. Winner's mother says her daughter is "very passionate about her views." (More Reality Winner stories.)

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