National Security. Pertaining to the national defense or foreign relations of the United States. E.O. 13526, § 6.1(cc).
Information. Any knowledge that can be communicated or documentary material, regardless of its physical form or characteristics, that is owned by, produced by or for, or is under the control of the United States Government.
Classified National Security Information (aka Classified Information). Information that has been determined pursuant to this order or any predecessor order to require protection against unauthorized disclosure and is marked to indicate its classified status when in documentary form. E.O. 13526, § 6.1(i).
Classified information falls into eight main subject-matter categories. E.O. 13526, § 1.4.
Military plans, weapons systems, or operations;
Foreign government information;
Intelligence activities (including special activities), intelligence sources
or methods, or cryptology;
Foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States, including
Scientific, technological, or economic matters relating to the national
United States Government programs for safeguarding nuclear materials
Vulnerabilities or capabilities of systems, installations, projects or plans
relating to the national security;
The development, production, or use of weapons of mass destruction.
Classification. The act or process by which information is determined to be
classified information. E.O. 13526 § 1.1(f).
Restricted Data. All data concerning (1) design, manufacture, or utilization of
atomic weapons; (2) the production of special nuclear material; or (3) the use of
special nuclear material in the production of energy. See Code 17 Handbook,
Original Classification Authority (OCA): An individual authorized in writing,
either by the President, or by agency heads or other officials designated by the
President, to classify information in the first instance. The only OCAs are the
President, agency heads and officials designated by the President in the Federal
Register, and certain Government officials. E.O. 13526 § 6.1(gg).
Derivative Classification. Incorporating, paraphrasing, restating, or generating in
a new form information that is already classified and marking the new material
consistently with the classification markings of the source information.
Duplication or reproduction of classified information is not derivative
classification. E.O. 13526 § 6.1(o).
Levels of Classification. E.O. 13526 § 1.2.
Top Secret. Information, the unauthorized disclosure of which
reasonably could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to
the national security that the OCA is able to identify or describe.
Secret. Information, the unauthorized disclosure of which reasonably
could be expected to cause serious damage to the national security that
the OCA is able to identify or describe.
Confidential. Information, the unauthorized disclosure of which
reasonably could be expected to cause damage to the national security
that the OCA is able to identify or describe.
Compartmented Information. Information within a formal system which strictly
controls the dissemination, handling and storage of a specific class of classified
information. Another name for compartmented information is “codeword
information.” See Code 17 Handbook, Chapter 2. There are two categories of
Special Access Program (SAP). A program established safeguarding and
access requirements that exceed those normally required for information
at the same classification level. A person must obtain authorized access
to SAP information by completing personnel security requirements
unique to the SAP and signing a SAP nondisclosure agreement.
Furthermore, the person may not disclose SAP information to anyone
without verifying that the other person has access to the SAP and a
verified need-to-know the information.
Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI). Classified information
concerning or derived from intelligence sources, methods, or analytical
processes that is required to be handled exclusively within formal access
control systems established by the Director of Central Intelligence.
“Need to Know.” A determination made by an authorized holder of classified
information that a prospective recipient requires access to specific classified
information in order to perform or assist in a lawful and authorized governmental
function. E.O. 13526, § 6.1(dd). In order to gain access to classified
information, a person must satisfy two requirements: (1) The appropriate
authority must deem the person suitable for receiving classified materials; and (2)
the person must have a “need-to-know” the classified material. See Schmidt v.
Boone, 59 M.J. 841, 852 (A.F. Ct. Crim. App. 2004), rev’d on other grounds sub
nom., United States v. Schmidt, 60 M.J. 1 (2004).
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