This Order prescribes a compatible system for classifying, declassifying, and safeguarding national security information. It recognizes that it is essential that the public be informed concerning the activities of its Government, but that the interests of the United States and its citizens require that certain information concerning the national defence and foreign relations be protected against unauthorized disclosure. Information may not be classified nether this Order unless its disclosure reasonably could exist expected to cause damage to the national security.
At present, by the potency vested in me as President by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Office 1 Original Nomenclature
Section i.i Nomenclature Levels.
(a) National security information (hereinafter “classified information”) shall be classified at one of the post-obit three levels:
(ane) “Top Hugger-mugger” shall be practical to data, the unauthorized disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security.
(2) “Secret” shall be applied to information, the unauthorized disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause serious damage to the national security.
(three) “Confidential” shall be applied to information, the unauthorized disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause damage to the national security.
(b) Except every bit otherwise provided by statute, no other terms shall exist used to identify classified data.
(c) If there is reasonable doubt about the need to classify information, information technology shall be safeguarded as if it were classified pending a decision by an original classification authority, who shall make this determination within thirty (xxx) days. If there is reasonable dubiousness nearly the advisable level of classification, it shall be safeguarded at the college level of classification awaiting a determination by an original nomenclature authorisation, who shall make this determination within thirty (30) days.
Sec. one.2 Classification Authority.
(a) Top Hush-hush. The authority to classify information originally as Summit Secret may be exercised only by:
(1) the President;
(2) agency heads and officials designated by the President in the Federal Annals, and
(3) officials delegated this say-so pursuant to Section 1.two(d).
(b) Surreptitious. The authority to allocate information originally equally Secret may be exercised only by:
(ane) agency heads and officials designated by the President in the Federal Annals,
(2) officials with original Top Secret classification authority; and
(3) officials delegated such authority pursuant to Section 1.2(d).
(c) Confidential. The authority to classify information originally as Confidential may exist exercised just by:
(1) agency heads and officials designated past the President in the Federal Register,
(2) officials with original Top Secret or Cloak-and-dagger classification authority; and
(3) officials delegated such say-so pursuant to Department 1.2(d).
(d) Delegation of Original Classification Say-so.
(1) Delegations of original nomenclature authority shall be express to the minimum required to administer this Order. Agency heads are responsible for ensuring that designated subordinate officials have a demonstrable and continuing need to practice this say-so.
(2) Original Top Secret classification authorisation may be delegated only past the President; an agency caput or official designated pursuant to Department 1.2(a)(2); and the senior official designated under Department five.iii(a)(one),* provided that official has been delegated original Top Secret classification authority past the bureau caput.
(3) Original Hole-and-corner classification authority may exist delegated only by the President; an agency head or official designated pursuant to Sections ane.2(a)(2) and 1.2(b)(1); an official with original Tiptop Secret classification authority; and the senior official designated under Section 5.iii(a)(ane),*
provided that official has been delegated original Secret classification authority by the agency caput.
The citation should read “Section 5.three(a)”. [ White House correction]
(4) Original Confidential classification authority may be delegated only by the President; an bureau head or official designated pursuant to Sections 1.ii(a)(2), 1.2(b)(i) and i.ii(c)(1); an official with original Top Secret classification dominance; and the senior official designated nether Department 5.3(a)(one),* provided that official has been delegated original nomenclature authority by the agency head.
(5) Each delegation of original classification authority shall be in writing and the authority shall not be redelegated except as provided in this Club. It shall identify the official delegated the authority by name or position title. Delegated classification authority includes the authority to classify information at the level granted and lower levels of nomenclature.
(eastward) Infrequent Cases. When an employee, contractor, licensed, or grantee of an bureau that does not have original classification authority originates data believed by that person to require nomenclature, the information shall be protected in a way consistent with this Order and its implementing directives. The information shall be transmitted promptly as provided under this Social club or its implementing directives to the agency that has advisable discipline thing interest and nomenclature authority with respect to this information. That agency shall make up one’s mind within thirty (30) days whether to classify this information. If it is not clear which agency has classification responsibility for this information, information technology shall be sent to the Director of the Information Security Oversight Office. The Director shall determine the agency having main discipline matter interest and forward the information, with appropriate recommendations, to that agency for a nomenclature determination.
Sec. i.3 Classification Categories.
(a) Information shall be considered for classification if it concerns:
(1) military machine plans, weapons, or operations;
(two) the vulnerabilities or capabilities of systems, installations, projects, or plans relating to the national security;
(iii) foreign government information;
(iv) intelligence activities (including special activities), or intelligence sources or methods;
(5) foreign relations or foreign activities of the United states;
(6) scientific, technological, or economic matters relating to the national security;
(vii) The states Government programs for safeguarding nuclear materials or facilities;
(9) a confidential source; or
(10) other categories of information that are related to the national security and that require protection against unauthorized disclosure as determined past the President or by agency heads or other officials who have been delegated original nomenclature authority past the President. Any determination made under this subsection shall be reported promptly to the Director of the Data Security Oversight Office.
(b) Data that is determined to business concern one or more than of the categories in Section i.3(a) shall exist classified when an original classification authority also determines that its unauthorized disclosure, either past itself or in the context of other data, reasonably could be expected to cause harm to the national security.
(c) Unauthorized disclosure of foreign authorities information, the identity of a confidential foreign source, or intelligence sources or methods is presumed to cause damage to the national security.
(d) Information classified in accordance with Department 1.iii shall not be declassified automatically every bit a result of any unofficial publication or inadvertent or unauthorized disclosure in the United States or abroad of identical or like data.
Sec. i.iv Duration of Classification.
(a) Information shall exist classified as long every bit required past national security considerations. When it can be adamant, a specific date or event for declassification shall be set by the original classification authority at the time the data is originally classified.
(b) Automated declassification determinations under predecessor orders shall remain valid unless the classification is extended by an authorized official of the originating bureau. These extensions may be by individual documents or categories of information. The agency shall be responsible for notifying holders of the data of such extensions.
(c) Data classified under predecessor orders and marked for declassification review shall remain classified until reviewed for declassification under the provisions of this Order.
Sec. one.5 Identification and Markings.
(a) At the time of original classification, the following information shall be shown on the face of all classified documents, or clearly associated with other forms of classified information in a manner advisable to the medium involved, unless this information itself would reveal a confidential source or relationship not otherwise evident in the certificate or data:
(1) one of the three classification levels defined in Section ane.1;
(2) the identity of the original classification authorisation if other than the person whose name appears equally the approval or signing official;
(3) the agency and role of origin; and (4) the date or event for declassification, or the notation “Originating Agency’s Determination Required.”
(b) Each classified document shall, by marking or other ways, betoken which portions are classified, with the applicable nomenclature level, and which portions are not classified. Agency heads may, for good cause, grant and revoke waivers of this requirement for specified classes of documents or data. The Director of the Information Security Oversight Office shall be notified of any waivers.
(c) Mark designations implementing the provisions of this Order, including abbreviations, shall conform to the standards prescribed in implementing directives issued by the Information Security Oversight Office.
(d) Foreign government information shall either retain its original classification or be assigned a United states of america classification that shall ensure a degree of protection at least equivalent to that required past the entity that furnished the information.
(e) Information assigned a level of nomenclature under predecessor orders shall be considered as classified at that level of classification despite the omission of other required markings. Omitted markings may be inserted on a document by the officials specified in Section three.1(b).
Sec. 1.six Limitations on Nomenclature.
(a) In no case shall information be classified in guild to muffle violations of police force, inefficiency, or administrative mistake; to forestall embarrassment to a person, system, or agency; to restrain competition; or to forbid or delay the release of information that does not require protection in the involvement of national security.
(b) Basic scientific research data non clearly related to the national security may not be classified.
(c) The President or an agency head or official designated nether Sections 1.2(a)(2), i.two(b)(1), or one.2(c)(1) may reclassify information previously declassified and disclosed if it is determined in writing that (1) the information requires protection in the interest of national security; and (2) the information may reasonably be recovered. These reclassification actions shall exist reported promptly to the Director of the Information Security Oversight Office.
(d) Data may be classified or reclassified afterwards an agency has received a request for information technology nether the Freedom of Information Act (five U.s.C. 552) or the Privacy Human action of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a), or the mandatory review provisions of this Club (Section 3.4) if such classification meets the requirements of this Order and is accomplished personally and on a certificate-past-certificate basis by the agency head, the deputy agency head, the senior agency official designated nether Section 5.3(a)(ane), * or an official with original Top Hole-and-corner classification dominance.
Office 2 Derivative Nomenclature
Sec. 2.1 Use of Derivative Classification. (a) Derivative nomenclature is (1) the conclusion that information is in substance the same as information currently classified, and (2) the application of the aforementioned classification markings. Persons who only reproduce, excerpt, or summarize classified data, or who only apply classification markings derived from source textile or equally directed by a classification guide, need not possess original classification authorization.
(b) Persons who use derivative classification markings shall:
(1) observe and respect original classification decisions; and
(2) behave forwards to any newly created documents any assigned authorized markings. The declassification date or outcome that provides the longest period of classification shall exist used for documents classified on the basis of multiple sources.
Sec. 2.ii Classification Guides.
(a) Agencies with original classification authority shall set up nomenclature guides to facilitate the proper and uniform derivative classification of information.
(b) Each guide shall be approved personally and in writing by an official who:
(1) has program or supervisory responsibility over the data or is the senior bureau official designated under Section 5.3(a)(i);
(ii) is authorized to allocate information originally at the highest level of classification prescribed in the guide.
(c) Agency heads may, for good cause, grant and revoke waivers of the requirement to prepare nomenclature guides for specified classes of documents or information. The Director of the Information Security Oversight Office shall exist notified of any waivers.
Function 3 Declassification and Downgrading
Sec. 3.ane Declassification Dominance.
(a) Data shall be declassified or downgraded as shortly as national security considerations permit. Agencies shall coordinate their review of classified information with other agencies that have a direct involvement in the subject matter. Data that continues to run across the classification requirements prescribed by Section 1.3 despite the passage of time will continue to be protected in accordance with this Lodge.
(b) Data shall be declassified or downgraded by the official who authorized the original classification, if that official is still serving in the aforementioned position; the originator’due south successor; a supervisory official of either; or officials delegated such authority in writing by the bureau caput or the senior bureau official designated pursuant to Section 5.3(a)(i).
(c) If the Manager of the Information Security Oversight Office determines that data is classified in violation of this Social club, the Director may require the information to be declassified by the bureau that originated the classification. Any such decision by the Director may be appealed to the National Security Council. The information shall remain classified, pending a prompt decision on the appeal.
(d) The provisions of this Section shall also apply to agencies that, nether the terms of this Order, do not accept original nomenclature authority, but that had Such authorisation under predecessor orders.
Sec. 3.2 Transferred Information.
(a) In the instance of classified information transferred in conjunction with a transfer of functions, and not merely for storage purposes, the receiving agency shall be deemed to be the originating agency for purposes of this Guild.
(b) In the case of classified information that is not officially transferred as described in Section 3.2(a), but that originated in an bureau that has ceased to exist and for which at that place is no successor bureau, each agency in possession of such information shall be deemed to exist the originating agency for purposes of this Order. Such data may exist declassified or downgraded by the agency in possession afterward consultation with any other agency that has an interest in the subject affair of the data.
(c) Classified information accessioned into the National Archives of the United states shall be declassified or downgraded past the Archivist of the Us in accordance with this Club, the directives of the Data Security Oversight Office, and bureau guidelines.
Sec. three.three Systematic Review for Declassification.
(a) The Archivist of the United States shall, in accordance with procedures and time frames prescribed in the Information Security Oversight Office’s directives implementing this Order, systematically review for declassification or downgrading (1) classified records accessioned into the National Archives of the Us, and (2) classified presidential papers or records nether the Archivist’s control. Such information shall be reviewed past the Archivist for declassification or downgrading in accordance with systematic review guidelines that shall be provided past the caput of the agency that originated the information, or in the example of foreign authorities information, past the Manager of the Information Security Oversight Office in consultation with interested agency heads.
(b) Agency heads may conduct internal systematic review programs for classified data originated by their agencies independent in records adamant by the Archivist to be permanently valuable but that take non been accessioned into the National Archives of the U.s..
(c) After consultation with afflicted agencies, the Secretarial assistant of Defense may establish special procedures for systematic review for declassification of classified cryptologic information, and the Director of Cardinal Intelligence may constitute special procedures for systematic review for declassification of classified data pertaining to intelligence activities (including special activities), or intelligence sources or methods.
Sec. 3.4 Mandatory Review for Declassification.
(a) Except as provided in Section iii.4(b), all information classified under this Order or predecessor orders shall be subject to a review for declassification past the originating bureau, if:
(one) the request is made past a United states denizen or permanent resident alien, a federal bureau, or a State or local government; and
(2) the request describes the document or material containing the data with sufficient specificity to enable the agency to locate it with a reasonable amount of attempt.
(b) Information originated past a President, the White House Staff, past committees, commissions, or boards appointed past the President, or others specifically providing advice and counsel to a President or interim on behalf of a President is exempted from the provisions of Section iii.4(a). The Archivist of the United States shall accept the authority to review, downgrade and declassify information under the control of the Administrator of General Services or the Archivist pursuant to sections 2107, 2107 notation, or 2203 of title 44, Us Lawmaking. Review procedures developed by the Archivist shall provide for consultation with agencies having main subject field matter interest and shall be consistent with the provisions of applicable laws or lawful agreements that pertain to the corresponding presidential papers or records. Whatsoever conclusion by the Archivist may be appealed to the Manager of the Information Security Oversight Function. Agencies with main subject area matter involvement shall be notified promptly of the Director’s decision on such appeals and may further appeal to the National Security Council. The information shall remain classified awaiting a prompt conclusion on the appeal.
(c) Agencies conducting a mandatory review for declassification shall declassify information no longer requiring protection under this Order. They shall release this information unless withholding is otherwise authorized under applicable police force.
(d) Agency heads shall develop procedures to process requests for the mandatory review of classified information. These procedures shall apply to information classified under this or predecessor orders. They shall also provide a means for administratively appealing a denial of a mandatory review request.
(e) The Secretarial assistant of Defence shall develop special procedures for the review of cryptologic data, and the Director of Central Intelligence shall develop special procedures for the review of information pertaining to intelligence activities (including special activities), or intelligence sources or methods, after consultation with affected agencies. The Archivist shall develop special procedures for the review of information accessioned into the National Archives of the Usa.
(f) In response to a asking for information under the Freedom of Data Act, the Privacy Act of 1974, or the mandatory review provisions of this Order:
(1) An agency shall decline to confirm or deny the existence or non-existence of requested information whenever the fact of its being or not-existence is itself classifiable nether this Gild.
(two) When an agency receives whatever request for documents in its custody that were classified by another agency, information technology shall refer copies of the request and the requested documents to the originating agency for processing, and may, later consultation with the originating agency, inform the requester of the referral. In cases in which the originating agency determines in writing that a response under Section iii.4(f)(1) is required, the referring agency shall respond to the requester in accordance with that Section.
Part four Safeguarding
Sec. 4.one General Restrictions on Access.
(a) A person is eligible for access to classified information provided that a decision of trustworthiness has been made by bureau heads or designated officials and provided that such access is essential to the accomplishment of lawful and authorized Government purposes.
(b) Controls shall be established by each agency to ensure that classified information is used, processed, stored, reproduced, transmitted, and destroyed only under weather condition that will provide adequate protection and foreclose access by unauthorized persons.
(c) Classified information shall not be disseminated outside the executive branch except nether weather that ensure that the information will be given protection equivalent to that afforded within the executive branch.
(d) Except every bit provided by directives issued by the President through the National Security Council, classified data originating in ane agency may not be disseminated exterior whatever other agency to which information technology has been fabricated available without the consent of the originating agency. For purposes of this Section, the Section of Defense shall be considered one agency.
Sec. 4.2 Special Access Programs.
(a) Agency heads designated pursuant to Department 1.two(a) may create special access programs to control admission, distribution, and protection of particularly sensitive data classified pursuant to this Order or predecessor orders. Such programs may exist created or continued only at the written direction of these agency heads. For special access programs pertaining to intelligence activities (including special activities but non including armed services operational, strategic and tactical programs), or intelligence sources or methods, this function volition be exercised by the Director of Central Intelligence.
(b) Each agency head shall constitute and maintain a system of accounting for special admission programs. The Managing director of the Information Security Oversight Office, consequent with the provisions of Section 5.2(b)(4), shall take non-delegable access to all such accountings.
Sec. four.3 Access by Historical Researchers and One-time Presidential Appointees.
(a) The requirement in Section four.one(a) that admission to classified information may be granted only as is essential to the accomplishment of authorized and lawful Authorities purposes may be waived as provided in Section 4.3(b) for persons who:
(1) are engaged in historical research projects, or
(2) previously have occupied policy-making positions to which they were appointed by the President.
(b) Waivers under Section iv.3(a) may exist granted merely if the originating agency:
(1) determines in writing that admission is consistent with the interest of national security;
(2) takes appropriate steps to protect classified data from unauthorized disclosure or compromise, and ensures that the information is safeguarded in a manner consequent with this Club; and
(3) limits the access granted to former presidential appointees to items that the person originated, reviewed, signed, or received while serving every bit a presidential appointee.
Part 5 Implementation and Review
Sec. 5.1 Policy Direction.
(a) The National Security Council shall provide overall policy direction for the information security program.
(b) The Ambassador of Full general Services shall be responsible for implementing and monitoring the program established pursuant to this Lodge. The Ambassador shall delegate the implementation and monitorship functions of this program to the Director of the Information Security Oversight Role.
Sec. 5.2 Information Security Oversight Role.
(a) The Information Security Oversight Office shall take a total-time Manager appointed by the Ambassador of General Services subject to blessing by the President. The Managing director shall take the authority
to appoint a staff for the Function.(b) The Director shall:
(1) develop, in consultation with the agencies, and promulgate, subject to the approval of the National Security Council, directives for the implementation of this Social club, which shall exist binding on the agencies;
(f) oversee agency actions to ensure compliance with this Order and implementing directives;
(3) review all bureau implementing regulations and bureau guidelines for systematic declassification review. The Director shall require any regulation or guideline to be changed if it is not consequent with this Order or implementing directives. Any such decision by the Managing director may be appealed to the National Security Council. The agency regulation or guideline shall remain in effect pending a prompt decision on the appeal;
(four) accept the authority to conduct on-site reviews of the information security plan of each agency that generates or handles classified information and to require of each agency those reports, information, and other cooperation that may be necessary to fulfill the Director’s responsibilities. If these reports, inspections, or access to specific categories of classified information would pose an exceptional national security risk, the affected bureau head or the senior official designated nether Section 5.iii(a)(one)*
may deny access. The Director may appeal denials to the National Security Quango. The denial of admission shall remain in effect pending a prompt decision on the entreatment;
(5) review requests for original nomenclature authority from agencies or officials not granted original classification authorisation and, if accounted appropriate, recommend presidential approval;
(6) consider and take activeness on complaints and suggestions from persons within or outside the Government with respect to the administration of the information security programme;
(7) have the authority to prescribe, afterward consultation with affected agencies, standard forms that will promote the implementation of the data security plan;
(eight) report at to the lowest degree annually to the President through the National Security Council on the implementation of this Lodge; and
(9) accept the authorization to convene and chair interagency meetings to hash out matters pertaining to the information security program.
Sec. 5.3 General Responsibilities.
Agencies that originate or handle classified information shall:
(a) designate a senior agency official to direct and administer its information security program, which shall include an agile oversight and security education program to ensure effective implementation of this Order;
(b) promulgate implementing regulations. Any unclassified regulations that found agency information security policy shall be published in the Federal Annals to the extent that these regulations affect members of the public;
(c) constitute procedures to prevent unnecessary access to classified information, including procedures that (i) crave that a demonstrable need for admission to classified data is established before initiating administrative clearance procedures, and (ii) ensure that the number of persons granted access to classified information is express to the minimum consistent with operational and security requirements and needs; and
(d) develop special contingency plans for the protection of classified information used in or about hostile or potentially hostile areas.
Sec. five.4 Sanctions.
(a) If the Manager of the Information Security Oversight Office finds that a violation of this Order or its implementing directives may accept occurred, the Director shall make a report to the caput of the agency or to the senior official designated under Department five.iii(a)(1)*
then that cosmetic steps, if appropriate, may be taken.
(b) Officers and employees of the United States Government, and its contractors, licensees, and grantees shall be subject to appropriate sanctions if they:
(1) knowingly, willfully, or negligently disclose to unauthorized persons information properly classified nether this Lodge or predecessor orders;
(2.) knowingly and willfully classify or proceed the classification of information in violation of this Order or any implementing directive; or
(3) knowingly and willfully violate whatsoever other provision of this Lodge or implementing directive.
(c) Sanctions may include reprimand, suspension without pay, removal, termination of classification authority, loss or deprival of admission to classified information, or other sanctions in accord with applicable law and agency regulation.
(d) Each agency head or the senior official designated nether Section five.iii(a)(ane)*
shall ensure that appropriate and prompt corrective action is taken whenever a violation nether Department 5.iv(b) occurs. Either shall ensure that the Manager of the Information Security Oversight Function is promptly notified whenever a violation under Section 5.iv (b)(1) or (ii) occurs.
Function 6 General Provisions
Sec. 6.one Definitions.
(a) “Agency” has the meaning provided at v UsaC. 552(e).
(b) “Data” ways any information or material, regardless of its concrete form or characteristics, that is owned past, produced by or for, or is under the control of the United states Regime.
(c) “National security information” means data that has been determined pursuant to this Society or any predecessor society to require protection against unauthorized disclosure and that is so designated.
(d) “Strange regime information” means:
(1) information provided by a foreign government or governments, an international organization of governments, or any element thereof with the expectation, expressed or unsaid, that the data, the source of the information, or both, are to be held in confidence; or
(2) information produced by the Usa pursuant to or as a result of a articulation arrangement with a foreign authorities or governments or an international organisation of governments, or whatever element thereof, requiring that the information, the system, or both, are to be held in confidence.
(due east) “National security” means the national defence force or foreign relations of the U.s..
(f) “Confidential source” means whatsoever individual or organization that has provided, or that may reasonably be expected to provide, information to the The states on matters pertaining to the national security with the expectation, expressed or unsaid, that the data or relationship, or both, exist held in confidence.
(g) “Original classification” ways an initial determination that information requires, in the interest of national security, protection against unauthorized disclosure, together with a classification designation signifying the level of protection required.
Sec. 6.2 Full general.
(a) Aught in this Order shall supervene upon any requirement made by or under the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, equally amended. “Restricted Data” and “Formerly Restricted Data” shall be handled, protected, classified, downgraded, and declassified in conformity with the provisions of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, equally amended, and regulations issued under that Act.
(b) The Attorney General, upon request by the caput of an bureau or the Managing director of the Information Security Oversight Office, shall render an interpretation of this Social club with respect to any question arising in the course of its administration.
(c) Nix in this Order limits the protection afforded any data by other provisions of police force.
(d) Executive Order No. 12065 of June 28, 1978, every bit amended, is revoked as of the effective date of this Club.
(eastward) This order shall become constructive on August 1, 1982.
The White House,
Apr 2, 1982.
Ronald Reagan, Executive Order 12356—National Security Information Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/244814