Classified Information in The United States

Classified Information In The United States

The United States government classification system is established under Executive Order 13526, the latest in a long series of executive orders on the topic. Issued by President Barack Obama in 2009, Executive Order 13526 replaced earlier executive orders on the topic and modified the regulations codified to 32 C.F.R. 2001. It lays out the system of classification, declassification, and handling of national security information generated by the U.S. government and its employees and contractors, as well as information received from other governments.

The desired degree of secrecy about such information is known as its sensitivity. Sensitivity is based upon a calculation of the damage to national security that the release of the information would cause. The United States has three levels of classification: Confidential, Secret, and Top Secret. Each level of classification indicates an increasing degree of sensitivity. Thus, if one holds a Top Secret security clearance, one is allowed to handle information up to the level of Top Secret, including Secret and Confidential information. If one holds a Secret clearance, one may not then handle Top Secret information, but may handle Secret and Confidential classified information.

In the United States, a nation without a British-style Official Secrets Act, the disclosure of classified information is not, in general, illegal. The legislative and executive branches of government, including US presidents, have frequently leaked classified information to journalists. Congress has repeatedly resisted or failed to pass a law that generally outlaws disclosing classified information. Instead, a "patchwork" of different laws criminalize only certain types of classified information, and then only under certain circumstances. Most espionage law only criminalizes national defense information; only a jury can decide if a given document meets that criteria, and judges have repeatedly said that being "classified" does not necessarily make information become related to the "national defense". Furthermore, by law, information may not be classified merely because it would be embarrassing or to cover illegal activity; information may only be classified to protect national security objectives.

Read more about Classified Information In The United States:  Classified Vs. Unclassified Information, Levels of Classification Used By The U.S. Government, Proper Procedure For Classifying U.S. Government Documents, Classifications and Clearances Between U.S. Government Agencies, Categories That Are Not Classifications, Sharing of Classified Information With Other Countries, Claims of U.S. Government Misuse of The Classification System

Other articles related to "classified information in the united states, classified, information, classified information":

Classified Information In The United States - Claims of U.S. Government Misuse of The Classification System
... Documents covering such work field should be classified `secret’.” April 17, 1947 Atomic Energy Commission memo from Colonel O.G ... Secrecy Max Weber While the classification of information by the government is not supposed to be used to prevent information from being made public that would be simply ... of American Scientists and an expert on classified information, notes that.. ...

Famous quotes containing the words united states, states, united, information and/or classified:

    What the United States does best is to understand itself. What it does worst is understand others.
    Carlos Fuentes (b. 1928)

    With steady eye on the real issue, let us reinaugurate the good old “central ideas” of the Republic. We can do it. The human heart is with us—God is with us. We shall again be able not to declare, that “all States as States, are equal,” nor yet that “all citizens as citizens are equal,” but to renew the broader, better declaration, including both these and much more, that “all men are created equal.”
    Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865)

    Prior to the meeting, there was a prayer. In general, in the United States there was always praying.
    Friedrich Dürrenmatt (1921–1990)

    The real, then, is that which, sooner or later, information and reasoning would finally result in, and which is therefore independent of the vagaries of me and you. Thus, the very origin of the conception of reality shows that this conception essentially involves the notion of a COMMUNITY, without definite limits, and capable of a definite increase of knowledge.
    Charles Sanders Peirce (1839–1914)

    But there are advantages to being elected President. The day after I was elected, I had my high school grades classified Top Secret.
    Ronald Reagan (b. 1911)