Newly elected U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine talked cyber-security and privacy during his Wednesday visit to the Centreville offices of the Camber Corporation, a major Department of Defense contractor and intelligence support firm.
Much of the conversation focused on Edward Snowden, a former government contractor accused of revealing United States and British security secrets to journalists.
Like Snowden, many Camber employees have security clearances, something they hold "quite dear," one Camber employee told Kaine. Snowden threw his security clearance and the trust that comes with it, "out the window," the employee said.
Inside security threats are controversial, but it is something that should be taken seriously, Kaine said.
"We have to be very attuned to working conditions, " Kaine said. Addressing such security threats must be delicate, and not something you can "use a meat axe" to do, he added.
Kaine said he holds what Snowden did as illegal, but he won't throw labels like "traitor" around until the government can prove it.
Camber employees also spoke to Kaine about the federal budgeting process and how it affects the company's customers.
"The budgetary disfunction at the federal level has led to, instead of budgets, continuing resolutions or sequesters and super committees with no solutions," he said.
Kaine said he decided to visit Camber after meeting some of the company's executives a few months ago. The visit was organized by the Private Equity Growth Capital Council, based in the District.