determining whether a persons duties require that he or she is authorized to receive it rests upon the possessor of the classified information and not upon the prospective recipient.
OFFICIAL INFORMATION. Information that is owned by, produced for or by, or is subject to the control of the United States Government.
ORIGINATOR. The command by whose authority an item of information is created and disseminated.
SECURITY. A protected condition of classified information that prevents unauthorized persons from obtaining information of direct or indirect military value. This condition results from the establishment and maintenance of protective measures that ensure a state of inviolability from hostile acts or influences.
SECURITY VIOLATION. Any failure to comply with the regulations relative to the security of classified material.
STOWAGE. The manner in which classified material is protected by physical and/or mechanical means.
TRANSMISSION. Movement involving the actual transfer of custody and responsibility for a document or other classified material from one command or section of a command to another command or another authorized addressee. It does not apply to personnel carrying classified material for their own legitimate use to be retained by them and returned to their own command files.
UPGRADING. The act of assigning a higher classification to information than that previously assigned. Permitted only when all known holders of the information can be notified promptly and are authorized access to the higher level of classification or the information can be retrieved from all known holders not authorized access to the contemplated higher level of classification.
Information that requires protection against unauthorized disclosure in the interest of national security must be classified in one of three designations: TOP SECRET, SECRET, or CONFIDENTIAL. The markings FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY, and LIMITED OFFICIAL USE cannot be used to identify classified information. Nor can you use modifying terms in conjunction with authorized classification designations, such as SECRET SENSITIVE.
TOP SECRET is the designation applied only to information the unauthorized disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security. Examples include armed hostilities against the United States or its allies; disruption of foreign relations vitally affecting the national security; the compromise of vital national defense plans or complex cryptologic and communications intelligence systems; the revelations of sensitive intelligence operations; and the disclosure of scientific or technological developments vital to national security.
SECRET is the designation applied only to information the unauthorized disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to cause serious damage to the national security. Examples include disruption of foreign relations significantly affecting the national security; significant impairment of a program or policy directly related to the national security; revelation of significant military plans or intelligence operations; and compromise of significant scientific or technological developments relating to national security.
CONFIDENTIAL is the designation applied to information the unauthorized disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to cause damage to the national security. Examples include information indicating strength of ground, air, and naval forces; performance characteristics, test data, design, and production data on U.S. weapon systems and munitions.
Classifiers may NOT:
1. Use classification to conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error, to prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency, or to restrain competition. 10-25