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security classification Definition (US DoD)

Official definition of the United States Department of the term security classification .

security classification Definition (US DoD)

Official definition of the United States Department of the term security classification .

security classification



A category to which national security information and material is assigned to denote the degree of damage that unauthorized disclosure would cause to national defense or foreign relations of the United States and to denote the degree of protection required. There are three such categories. a. top secret — National security information or material that requires the highest degree of protection and the unauthorized disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security. Examples of “exceptionally grave damage” 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 revelation of sensitive intelligence operations; and the disclosure of scientific or technological developments vital to national security. b. secret — National security information or material that requires a substantial degree of protection and the unauthorized disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to cause serious damage to the national security. Examples of “serious damage” 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. c. confidential — National security information or material that requires protection and the unauthorized disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to cause damage to the national security. See also classification; security. (US DoD)
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