How do you gain access to classified information?

How do you gain access to classified information?

Classified information may be made available to a person only if the material's owner shows that the individual has a genuine "need to know" and the access is required for the performance of official government obligations. The following categories of people are generally considered to have need to know: employees of the agency that controls the information, members of Congress or their staffs, certain foreign officials, witnesses in criminal investigations or court proceedings, and journalists who can demonstrate that they were engaged in legitimate newsgathering activities when denied access to information.

In addition, federal agencies are required to publish their classification guidelines. These guidelines state which positions require security clearances and how those positions are awarded clearance levels. Agencies also are required to review their classified information annually and make any necessary changes to its protection.

Who decides what information is classified?

The President makes the initial decision on whether to classify information. If he decides to classify something, his National Security Advisor (NSA) will review it to make sure it meets the criteria for classification. After that, both the NSA and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) must approve the classification before it takes effect.

Why is it important for information to be kept secret?

Secret information allows governments to conduct business with one another and citizens to trust them.

How is access to classified national security information determined?

Access to secret national security information is granted based on a security clearance (Confidential, Secret, or Top Secret) and a "need-to-know." A need-to-know determination might be formal or informal. All classified national security information falls into one of two "need-to-know" categories: formal or informal. Information that is not considered confidential can be disclosed to those who do not have a need to know.

Formal means that the information is approved for release from an authorized source. An authorized source is either a U.S. government agency or another form of American organization that is issued a license by a U.S. government agency to have access to classified information. Examples include the Department of Defense, National Security Agency, Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Peace Corps. Informal means that the information is not officially released but can be provided to those who have been granted access to similar information in the past or who are otherwise deemed eligible to receive it. Examples include guests at White House briefings and members of Congress who request specific information.

All persons who have contact with classified information must undergo a security investigation to determine if they should be given access to such information. This investigation may take place with the aid of a security clearance questionnaire or through interviews with individuals involved with the applicant. Once the investigation is complete, a decision is made as to the level of security needed to ensure the safety of the nation's secrets.

Can a person with a security clearance access classified information?

"Only those people who have a genuine need-to-know and who possess a personnel security clearance at the same or higher level than the classified material to be revealed may have access to classified information," according to a Pentagon statement on clearances. "Such persons are responsible for maintaining the secrecy of all classified information and must not disclose it to others, whether within or outside the government."

There are several ways for a person without a security clearance to obtain sensitive information, such as the identity of covert agents or sources, including through accident, negligence or willful behavior. The National Security Agency has said that it monitors phone calls and email messages of people without clearances in order to identify any violations as soon as possible after they occur. Employees who learn of such violations and do not report them immediately can themselves become targets of investigation by national security agencies.

People with security clearances can use their positions within government agencies to gain unauthorized access to secret information. Common examples include insider threats, where employees steal secrets, and outsider threats, where people with no connection to the agency obtain clearances in order to work at facilities housing classified information and then leak it to foreign governments or terrorist groups.

Classified information ranges from the general nature of U.S. intelligence activities to the names of spies and their sources.

What does it mean when information is classified?

Classified information is material deemed important enough to national security by a government or agency that access to it must be regulated and restricted. This includes secrets, sensitive information, and confidential documents.

When you share classified information, you are putting the security of our country at risk. You could be punished by law for revealing secret information.

If you receive classified information, you have a legal duty to protect it and not disclose it to others unless you are allowed to do so. Violating this duty can lead to penalties including jail time.

Classification is used by governments to keep certain information from becoming public. Classifying information allows for restrictions on who can see it, how it can be used, and for how long. Classification also has implications for how evidence in criminal cases should be handled. In American courts, all information regarding classified programs is kept under seal until such time as the litigation surrounding it is completed. Judges can order materials removed from court files if they determine that doing so is necessary for national security reasons.

The classification system is implemented through different laws and regulations issued by federal agencies such as the Department of Defense (DOD) and the National Security Agency (NSA).

What is classified information for the government?

Classified information is information that a government entity considers to be sensitive and must be protected. Documents and other material must be labeled "by the author" with one of many (hierarchical) levels of sensitivity, such as restricted, confidential, secret, and top secret. Classification can also apply to people: military personnel, contractors, and others who have access to information may be punished by death if they disclose it.

In modern governments, classes of information are often established by law, regulation, or policy. In the United States, for example, federal agencies can classify information in order to protect sources and methods for intelligence gathering. Classified information is maintained on a security clearance application, which requires an employee to admit to committing any crimes punishable by more than six months' imprisonment or involving dishonesty or deceit. Those convicted of certain offenses, such as espionage or treason, cannot be granted a security clearance. Employees are also required to sign a statement agreeing to abide by rules prohibiting them from disclosing classified information. Penalties for violating these rules include discharge from employment and fines.

Security clearances are administered by each agency that employs classified information workers. Applicants must complete a detailed questionnaire about their personal history including references, and may be asked to appear for interviews with current or former employers or co-workers. The process can take several weeks or longer before a decision is made regarding eligibility for a security clearance.

About Article Author

Danny Nolan

Danny Nolan is a survival expert. He knows all about emergency situations, personal safety, and how to avoid getting hurt. Danny can tell you what it takes to stay safe in any environment- from jungles to deserts. He also has knowledge on how to protect yourself from identity thefts or cyber hazards.

Related posts