Classification is the
- "act or process by which information is determined to be classified information."
- "action of assigning a category to something."
|“||the general process of categorising content into classes according to its suitability for certain age groups.||”|
|“||[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.||”|
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
|“||[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.||”|
|“||[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.||”|
|“||[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.||”|
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.
- 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.
- Executive Order 13526, at §6.1(f).
- DHS Lexicon Terms and Definitions, at 90.
- Background Report on Cross Media Rating and Classification and Age Verification Solutions, at 4.
- OPSEC Glossary of Terms.
- DOE Manual 470.4-7, at 12.
- 12 FAM 090 (full-text).
- Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, at 34.
- DHS Lexicon Terms and Definitions, at 90-91.
- "Overview" section: U.S. National Intelligence: An Overview 2011, at 61-62.
- "University research" section: Balancing Scientific Publication and National Security Concerns: Issues for Congress, at 9-10.
- Access level
- Access to classified information
- Accountability and Control of Classified Laptop Computers
- Classified contract
- Classification guidance
- Classification guide
- Classification level
- Classified information
- Classified Information Procedures Act of 1980
- Classified Information Sharing and Safeguarding Office
- Classified material
- Classified national security information
- Classified National Security Information Program
- Classified research
- Controlled unclassified information
- Criminal Prohibitions on the Publication of Classified Defense Information
- Dedicated security mode
- Default classification
- Derivative classification
- Document Security: Justice Can Improve Its Controls Over Classified and Sensitive Documents
- Information classification
- National Instruction on Classified Information Spillage
- National Policy on Classified Information Spillage
- Original classification
- Original classification authority
- Protecting Classified Information and the Rights of Criminal Defendants: The Classified Information Procedures Act
- Protection of Classified Information by Congress: Practices and Proposals
- Report of the Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy
- Security clearance