The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

What you need to know about Booz Allen Hamilton

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CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post misidentified J. Michael McConnell as the current head of Booz Allen Hamilton. He serves as the firm's vice chairman.

With the revelation that Edward Snowden, the man who admitted disclosing top-secret information about National Security Agency surveillance programs, is an employee of the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, the degree to which the federal government has outsourced much of its intelligence activities is back in the spotlight.

In 2010, The Washington Post published "Top Secret America," a two-year investigation of the explosive growth of the government's national security system -- and the ecosystem of contractors that emerged around it -- since 2001.