Definitions[edit | edit source]

General[edit | edit source]

Classification is the

Internet content[edit | edit source]

Classification is

the general process of categorising content into classes according to its suitability for certain age groups.[3]

Security[edit | edit source]

Classification is

[t]he determination that official information requires, in the interest of national security, a specific degree of protection against unauthorized disclosure, coupled with a designation signifying that such a determination has been made; the designation is normally termed a security classification and includes Confidential, Secret, and Top Secret.[4]

University research[edit | edit source]

Generally, classification is to be used when it is necessary to control scientific information. The advent of classified extramural research led most universities to clarify their positions on acceptance of funding for classified research. Some universities elect to not perform classified research on campus, espousing that this is contrary to the founding beliefs of the university or their university charters.

Universities that perform classified research typically establish research facilities specifically to handle classified materials and research. These research facilities are often located off-campus. Some universities have developed mechanisms by which classified research may be approved on a case-by-case basis.

U.S. federal government[edit | edit source]

Classification is

[t]he act or process by which information or matter is determined to require protection in the interest of national security under either 42 U.S.C. 2162 (Section 142, as amended, of the Atomic Energy Act) or Executive Order 12958, as amended.[5]
[t]he determination that certain information requires protection against unauthorized disclosure in the interest of national security, coupled with the designation of the level of classification: Top Secret (TS), Secret, or Confidential.[6]
[t]he determination that official information requires, in the interests of national security, a specific degree of protection against unauthorized disclosure, coupled with a designation signifying that such a determination has been made.[7]

Overview[edit | edit source]

The Intelligence Community, in accordance with Executive Order 13526, classifies information (that is not Unclassified) as Confidential, Secret, or Top Secret. Classification may be applied only to information that is owned by, produced by or for, or is under the control of the U.S. Government. Section 1.4 of Executive Order 13526 discusses classification techniques.

At the time that material is classified, the original classification authority must establish a specific date or event for declassification. When that date is reached or when the event occurs, the information is automatically declassified. Unless an earlier date or event can be specified, declassification must be marked for 10 years from the date of classification, or up to 25 years from the date of classification, depending on the circumstances. Upon review, the original classification may be extended for up to 25 additional years, the classification may be changed, or specific portions of the classified information may be reclassified. No information may remain classified indefinitely.

"Classification is used to ensure consistent management and reporting. Configuration items, incidents, problems, changes etc. are usually classified."[8]

Information may not be classified or be maintained as classified information in order to:

  • Conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error;
  • Prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency;
  • Restrain competition; or
  • Prevent or delay the release of information that does not require protection in the interest of the national security.

Basic scientific research information not clearly related to the national security may not be classified.

References[edit | edit source]

Sources[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

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