Caveats, Details, & Disclaimers

SF86 Remediation Process: Important Things to Understand

It is essential to understand the difference between “Remediation” and “Repair”.  The Berlin Group, LLC, is not a “credit repair” or “Social Media Repair” service. Most third-party companies offering so-called “wash and delete” services are making claims that are total fiction. To be clear: There is no way to “delete” a bankruptcy from a credit file. This can only be done by the creator or host of the data (The US Bankruptcy Court) the national data center where the credit-reporting agency obtained the data. 

This is also true for Social Media: Companies cannot simply “delete an arrest record or news story that reports an arrest." An arrest record can only be deleted by the Clerk of Courts – Criminal Division that hosts the data and reports it into the database systems. Most companies that claim “wash and delete” are merely “de-optimizing” or drowning the data using a number of different submerging tools. 

The Berlin Group, LLC, services are intended to allow the cleared person to identify, alert, and act upon data that either exists and has been long forgotten, is mistakenly reported by innocent error or malevolent action; or is stated by a third-party and is linked to a person’s profile without their knowledge. 

So, don’t be fooled: If anyone offers you a promise to “delete” or “wash” away an online record – be very leery – if its sounds too good to be true – its because it is. 



The first mandatory step to creating a Cleared Person's Social Media Profile is conducting the Digital DNA Fingerprint. This must be done so that "learned machine searching" can then mine each piece of the data found in the Digital Fingerprint. 

Once this information is obtained, The Berlin Group, LLC, uses several relational databases linking proprietary algorithms created by our Intelligence Analysts to collect all available data that appears online from conventional Social Media Profiles. We check over 100 social media platforms for reference to any of these identifiers and pull back the cleared person's social media online presence, just as it would appear to government analysts. 


Often, a person's Social Media Profile is an accurate depiction their online activity - but not always. The purpose here is to identify, confirm, and alert the cleared person of what is being reported, not whether the data is accurate or even correct. This is important to the cleared person so one can be prepared for any questions that may come up during initial interviews, or when applying for a high clearance-related job. 

Today, Counter-Intelligence analysts probe deeply into a person's Social Media Profile, not just to determine what you are stating in your documentation; but more importantly, what others are saying about you. These programs are intended to establish the cleared person's connections, links, associations, and foreign contacts or relationships, which can hold up or even derail a person's attempt to obtain or maintain a Security Clearance. 

Be prepared -- it’s the watchword for successfully navigating the Clearance process, especially at the Top Secret, or Top Secret SCI or Top Secret SCI/SAP Levels. This is particularly true for cleared persons who will be taking Full Scope Polygraphs which is all centered on "behavior," "lifestyle," "relationships," and "adverse" inference, publicly available information that could be used to blackmail the cleared person by Foreign Intelligence Services. 

Remember, mitigation does NOT mean delete. Services that claim to "delete" a piece of online adverse information are often making false or misleading statements. No person or third-party service can delete published information once it appears within the Internet universe. This can only be done by the creators or publishers of the data. The Berlin Group, LLC, gives you the ability to see what others see quickly -- and not make invisible what will always be visible albeit deeply submerged. 


The single most significant reason that cleared persons incur is problems in expeditiously obtaining a Clearance is the adverse financial background. This includes liens, levies, lawsuits, bankruptcy, defaulted student loans, slow payments, auto title loans, substandard mortgage loans, and many other negative attributes. The Government’s concern? Blackmail by foreign intelligence services. 

Today, The Berlin Group, LLC, research finds that this is particularly true for the Millennium cohort who are beset with debt following college or graduate school. Older cleared persons may suffer from delayed Child Support payments, alimony, or other post-marriage obligations. Credit Card debt swamps the financial health of families and makes it impossible for a cleared person to obtain a high-level Clearance. 

The reason is simple: For a tax lien, the only authority that can authorize a delete is the tax agency (IRS, State Department of Revenue and County Tax, etc.) that published the information at the county and state level. For a defaulted or slow pay student loan, the only entity that can delete the information is the Student Loan company or bank. Credit Repair services merely "de-optimize" or "drown" the negative information using various tools -- but the Department of Defense and Intelligence Community can use counter-intelligence tools to find the information quickly. 

The Berlin Group, LLC, uses a program that not only digs deep into the present but goes back in some cases to the 1970s for older candidates but consists of over 14,000 databases that include over 70 billion records on US Persons and Corporations; and 800 million records on foreign persons touching US Soil. A similar product is a use by DoD and IC Intelligence Analysts when they do their initial SF 86 identity scan. 

The Berlin Group, LLC, process differs in many respects: 

  • Our programs obtain both legacy and historical intelligence, not just current data. The Berlin Group, LLC, data collection process includes never deleting legacy data and therefore, the "whole person" is seen from the first moment that a Cleared Person appears within searchable databases. 
  • Our programs include not just that which is genuine and authentic -- but also patently false information or information that is an innocent mistake. The Berlin Group, LLC adage is "We give what we get - warts and all." Our mission is to identify, alert, and enable remediation so to empower the Cleared Person to be vigilant, be prepared, take responsibility, and act when questioned by Investigators and Adjudicators. 
  • The SF 86 Full Adjudication Profile is drawn from public, private, proprietary, subscription-based, and restricted access database services. It does NOT probe any US Government Services or Systems, and never touches anything that is classified. However, because it contains restricted access PAI and PII data, it must be delivered encrypted and password protected. Much of the profile is taken from banking, financial, credit, and asset-based data sources that are not publicly available and all information is delivered to the client just as the government sees the information -- un-truncated and in its original form to include the reporting source.  
  • Once the profile is delivered, the client can then begin the process of correcting any wrong data or seeking to resolve problems that may have gone either unnoticed or ignored.  

Here is The Berlin Group, LLC, bottom line: We provide cleared persons data reality and then it’s the client's responsibility to accept that reality and take the action steps to begin the cleaning and repair process. 


Another pothole that often impacts cleared persons or applicants for clearance is an "innocent mistake" such as merely forgetting a former address, phone number, email address, name of relative, roommate, school chum, or "close, intimate or abiding connection or relationship." Another obstacle is the ever elusive "current phone number" of a long forgotten relative or connection that must be cited in the Standard Form 86.  

The Berlin Group, LLC, uses a program that not only digs deep into the current status but in some cases, goes back to the 1970s. The program consists of over 14,000 databases that include over 70 billion records on U.S. Persons and Corporations; and 800 million records on foreign persons touching US Soil. A similar product is used by the Department of Defense (DoD) and IC Intelligence Analysts when they conduct the initial SF-86 identity scan. 

Believe it or not – many of our clients suffer interminable delays in their SF 86 applications strictly because they innocently left something out, forgot a phone number, had a wrong address, or neglected to provide a critical piece of information on a long-lost relative or friend. Weeks are wasted just because the applicant did not have the correct data at his or her fingerprints when going through the process. 


This is our bottom line: The Berlin Group, LLC, provides cleared persons a data reality - it is then the client's responsibility to take the action steps to begin the cleaning and repair process. 

We help you, and we prepare you -- every step of the way. We do it quickly, and we do it using the most advanced data mining tools, techniques, methods, and sources that are commercially available today.

SF86 Remediation Process Index

SF86 Remediation Process Index