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Who Decides what is Secret?

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posted on Sep, 2 2005 @ 06:18 AM
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We all know about black projects and secret activities. All of the information that is hidden from the public has to go through a security review, before it assign a level of classification. So what person, or group gets to make the final decision about what to keep secret, and how secret it needs to be kept?

Tim




posted on Sep, 2 2005 @ 11:08 AM
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I do.
I sit behind this cold metal desk, with a huge a$$ rubber stamp, and I clucnk it down on those I feel need to be secret.



posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 07:42 PM
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I'd love to tell you,
but it's a SECRET.



posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 08:39 PM
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This should give you some basic idea of how documents are classified:

Proper procedures for classifying U.S. government documents
Classified U.S. government documents are required to be stamped with their classification at the top and bottom of each page. In addition, to be properly classified, a classification authority (an individual charged by the Government with the right and responsibility to properly determine the level of classification and the reason for classification) must determine the appropriate classification level as well as the reason information is to be classified. Executive Order 13292, signed by President Bush in 2003, describes the reasons and requirements for information to be classified. Classification restrictions are generally promulgated by the Director of Central Intelligence and adopted throughout the U.S. government.


Here is the link:

classified-information.area51.ipupdater.com...

Check it out carefully since there are many things that determine why a document is classified in the manner it is.

(Yeah I know Top Secret is NOT the final level of security clearance, but we are dealing in documents here.)



posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 05:03 AM
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Intresting, so the Director of Central Intelligence has the final say.

Here's another intresting fact: Did you know that a person with "Yankee White" clearance can get access to ANYTHING CLASSIFIED as long as they have a Need to Know?

Boy, the system is stranger than I thought!

Tim



posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 05:16 AM
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One thing to rember, the item in question may not be secret.

One of my history prof's used to work for the CIA and did classiication. He obviously would not go into detail, but what he said was alot of stuff gets stamped to protect the source rather than the actual information itself. He said that almost 50-60% of the stuff that crossed his desk was for that reason alone.



posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 01:34 PM
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I think what all the specifics in different organizations boil down to is anyone decides what is Secret. I have Secrets I don't want you to know and the CIA poobah's wife keeps Secrets from him. If They don't want you or us to know then it is a Secret. Person to Person and Government to Government. All Secrets being equal, all Secrets are void of value.



posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 04:43 PM
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Originally posted by ghost
We all know about black projects and secret activities. All of the information that is hidden from the public has to go through a security review, before it assign a level of classification. So what person, or group gets to make the final decision about what to keep secret, and how secret it needs to be kept?

Tim


That isn't how it works in practice. The author of the material decides the classification and compartment information for that material. If it is an original work the author can set the classification to whatever they feel is appropriate. If the author references material from another document that is classified then the new document must be of at least the same classification.

If the author is uncertain they will typically set it to the highest classification possible for their clearance and then seek their security officer for more information. They can then change the classification to one that is more appropriate (as they are the author of the document) for the document before releasing it to the rest of the organization.

For example, I am writing a document on sweet tea. Obviously this is not a classified subject, so I plan on making the document unclassified. If, however, I reference that my Sweet Tea recipe came to me in a dream after being knocked unconscious by a falling warp coil I was developing at super secret govt lab X, the document suddenly becomes top secret.

Declassifying material requires a review by multiple personnel to determine if the material is no longer considered sensitive enough to be released. This involves making sure the information contained in the document is safe to be released and by deciding if the information being released doesn't confirm other information that may still be classified.

If I am the sole author of a document and nobody else has modified that document (or referenced it) then I can raise and lower the classification as I see fit.

[edit on 6-9-2005 by boredom]



posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 04:58 PM
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Boredom:

Good example. If I can just build my own addition...Every government is like a corporation. My badge only gets me through certain doors, labs, etc. related mostly to my project. My project can't be released to the public until it is ready. Development bugs are fixed before release and are not made general knowledge.

At the company, I can't walk into any meeting. The president doesn't even know about my project but my boss and his boss do. Ultimately my boss and his boss and the president are responsible, but untimately I'm supposed to do my job and they don't really want to know because there are 10 other projects in one single department. Now, some companies (countries) work with each other and the tree just branches out more and any secrets become more vulnerable in the process. So, even on a single project in a single department of a single company there are closely kept secrets by an individual or only two.

Nothing goes up the chain of command, if at all, in a truly pure form as far as I can tell. Everyone has access to information that is passed on in a less detailed form and in the process is filtered.

And sometimes the guy unloading trucks in receiving knows all the ingredients in the special sauce when the shareholders don't.



posted on Sep, 12 2005 @ 01:40 PM
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Just being cute here...but I'm willing to bet that the more it would wake up and tick off the people, the more secret something will be.

At least that's what I think.




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