NSA leaks raise concerns on reliability of government's sensitive background check system

Before Edward Snowden began leaking national security secrets, he twice cleared the hurdle of the federal government's background check system — first at the CIA, then as a systems analyst at the National Security Agency.

Snowden's path into secretive national security jobs has raised concerns about the system that outsources many of its most sensitive background checks to an army of private investigators and pays hundreds of millions of dollars in lucrative government deals to companies that employ them.

Congress wants answers about Snowden's screenings.

The company with the biggest share of contracts is under federal investigation into possible criminal violations involving its oversight of background checks. That's according to officials familiar with the matter who requested anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss the investigation.