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Security of classified information: one standard or many?

John Michael Weaver (Department of History and Political Science, York College of Pennsylvania, York, Pennsylvania, USA)

International Journal of Public Leadership

ISSN: 2056-4929

Article publication date: 13 February 2017




There should be one standard for those with access to classified data. Leadership by example should be required by all managers, supervisors and department heads. The paper aims to discuss this issue.


This paper is a viewpoint and does not have a methodology.


Leaders who work in the public sector have an inherent responsibility to earn and maintain the trust of the public for whom they serve. Regardless of whether one is a career government employee, a politician or a political appointee, all who have access to classified material should respect the necessity of safeguards to keep one’s nation’s secrets – secret.

Research limitations/implications

If leaders fail to set the example, then nations risk further breaches of their classified information.

Practical implications

This viewpoint applies to anyone who works in an environment dealing with classified material.

Social implications

This viewpoint serves to educate the public on maintaining a single standard for those who handle classified material.


The author has yet to see much covered in peer-reviewed publications on this topic and believe that the subject is particularly relevant at this time.



Weaver, J.M. (2017), "Security of classified information: one standard or many?", International Journal of Public Leadership, Vol. 13 No. 1, pp. 9-12.



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Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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