White House refuses security clearance for Ashkan Soltani

The security researcher and journalist would have been advising US CTO Megan Smith.

ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy

Last month White House CTO Megan Smith announced that Ashkan Soltani would be joining her staff as a senior advisor, after leaving his post as the FTC's chief technologist. Today, Soltani revealed he will not be able to take the job, after being informed by the Office of Personnel Security that he is not receiving the necessary security clearance. There's no explanation as to why that is, but as The Guardian mentions and many are speculating, it could be a result of Soltani's participation in Pulitzer-winning reporting for the Washington Post covering the Edward Snowden revelations. We've contacted the White House and the Office of Science and Technology Policy but have not received any response.