posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 04:43 PM
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?
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
[edit on 6-9-2005 by boredom]