No other .security classification or administrative control designation shall be
used on documents originating in the Department, USIA, and A.I.D. without
the specific approval of the appropriate Office of Security.
912. Principles of Classification and Control
912.1 Assigning a Classification or Control Designation
a. The originator of a document is responsible for the original assignment of
its classification or control designation. Documents or materials shall be classi-
fied or controlled according to their own content and not necessarily according
to their relationship to other documents. Each document or item of material
shall be assigned the lowest classification or control designation consistent
with the proi>er protection of the information in it. *Documents or material
containing references to classified material which do not themselves reveal
classified information are not to be classified. (See sections 912.2 and 912.3.)*
b. The practice of assigning to a document a classification or control desig-
nation exceeding the degree of protection required may appear to be a simple,
innocuous means of providing extra protection in the interests of security. To
the contrary, overclassification and unnecessary control of documents result in
the establishment of cumbersome administrative procedures and seriously ham-
per operations, especially abroad, even to the extent of defeating the purposes
for which the documents are intended. Overclassification and unnecessary con-
trol cause delays in handling and may preclude the accessibility of documents
to personnel who should be working with them.
912.2 Physically Connected Documents
The classification or administrative control designation assigned to a file or
group of physically connected documents must be at least as high as that of
the most highly classified or controlled document in it. Documents separated
from the file are handled in accordance with their individual classification or
control designation. A cover sheet, JF-18, Classified or Controlled File, may
be placed on the front of each file or group of physically connected documents,
marked to indicate the highest classification or control designation it covers, or
the front and back of the folder must be stamped or marked according to the
highest classification or designation of the combined information contained in
912.3 Transmitting Communication
A transmitting communication shall bear a classification or control designa-
tion at least as high as the most highly classified or controlled document it
covers. The transmitting communication also must be marked with its appro-
priate group marking. (See section 966.1.)
912.4 Foreign Government Classified Information
Information furnished by a foreign government or by an international orga-
nization with restrictions on its dissemination must be protected according to
the instructions specified by the foreign government or international organiza-
tion furnishing the information.
912.5 Multiple Classifications or Control Designations
A document must bear a classification or administrative control designation
at least as high as that of its most highly classified or controlled component.
Pages, paragraphs, sections, or components may bear different classifications or
a control designation, but the document shall bear only one over-all classifica-
tion or control deisgnation. When separate portions of a document are marked
with different classifications or control designations, each portion bearing a sin-
gle classification or control designation (including "Unclassified") shall be set
off with the phrases :
"Begin " (Insert classification or designation.)
"End " (Insert classification or designation.)
940 Safeguarding and Dissemination of Classified and Administratively Con-
941 Principles Governing the Safeguarding of Classified and Controlled Infor-
941.1 Authorization for Access and Use
Classified or administratively controlled information must be given only to
those persons who require and are authorized to receive the information in the
course of the performance of their oflScial duties ; who have an appropriate
and current security clearance ; and who have adequate facilities for protec-
tion of documents or other tangible matters.
Special and specifically authorized clearances are required for access to in-
formation identified as Restricted Data, Cosmic, SEATO, CENTO, Crypto-
graphic, Intelligence, Office of Security, and other information given special
protection by law or regulation.
941.2 Need-to-Know Doctrine
A person is not entitled to receive classified or administratively controlled
information solely by virtue of his official position or by virtue of having been
granted security clearance. The "need-to-know" doctrine shall be enforced at
all times in the interest of good security.
941.3 In Conver.sation
The di.scussion of classified or administratively controlled information must
not be held in the presence or hearing of persons who are not authorized to
have knowledge thereof.
Classified or administratively controlled information must be carefully con-
trolled at all times. This includes maintenance of adequate records of trans-
mission and receipt and the imposition of strict limitations on the number of
copies prepared or reproduced.
941.5 Restriction on Personal Use
Classified or administratively controlled information must not be u.sed for
personal interests of any employee and must not be entered in personal diaries
or other nonofficial records.
941.6 Access by Foreign National Employees
Classified information must not be dictated to, typed, or otherwise prepared
by local employees. This restriction must not be circumvented by the assign-
ment or classification after a local employee has prepared a particular docu-
ment. However, when warranted, information collected by local employees and
prepared in report form by such employees may receive classification protec-
tion by appending such reports to classified transmittal reports prepared by
Except as noted in sections 941.6-1, 941.6-2, and 941.6-3, classified or ad-
ministratively controlled information must not be made available to. or left in
the custody of, Foreign Service local employees or alien employees resident in
the United States ; nor will sucli employees be permitted to attend meetings
vf'here classified or administratively controlled information is di.scussed.
941.6-1 When local employees obtain information from privileged sources
or otherwise develop information warranting an administrative control desig-
nation or must be given access to administratively controlled information or
material originated elsewhere in order to perform their oflScial duties, they
may be authorized limited access to such information i^rovided that:
(a) The local employee's U.S. citizen supervisor reqiiests authority to per-
mit access to administratively controlled material in writing, specifying the
reasons the employee must have access in order to perform his official duties
and describing the type of material, reports, etc., contemplated for access.
(b) The regional security officer concurs in the request, issues a memoran-
dum of limited access, and recommends approval to the principal oflicer of the
(c) The principal officer must authorize the limited access in writing. Such
authority shall be reviewed by each succeeding principal officer, and he shall
affirm or discontinue such authority as he deems appropriate.
(d) The employee's access is not construed to mean blanket authority to re-
ceive administratively controlled information or material. Select local employ-
ees authorized to have access to administratively controlled material shall be
permitted access only to that type of material specified in paragraph (a) of
this section on a strict "need-to-know" basis.
941.6-2 When it is essential that information contained in classified docu-
ments (excluding Top Secret) be disseminated to the broadcasting service
alien personnel resident in the United States, in order for them to perform
their duties, such information must be given verbally. They are prohibited ac-
cess to Top Secret information and are not authorized visual access to classi-
fied documents or material.
**941.6-3 Foreign Service local employees in very limited cases, ma.v be
permitted access to Confidential information coming from or to be delivered to
the government of the host country. The internal procedures for granting access
are the same as those provided in the foregoing parts of section 941.6 with re-
gai'd to local employee access to administratively controlled material. Almost
all instances of u-se of this authority will involve necessary translations. Ac-
cess to such material sho\ild l)e allowed only after consideration of the host
government's reaction to the particular Foreign Service local employee's have-
ing such access. When and where feasible, the local employee should be given
such access only after a responsible agency of the host country has indicated
it has no objection to the specific local employee's access to the information.**
941.7 Access by Binational Center Grantees
Since appointments of Binational Center grantees are made only upon com-
pletion of a full field investigation, classified information that applies to their
assignments and is necessary in the performance of their duties may be made
available to them. Under no circumstances will classified documents be given
to them for retention at a Binational Center. (This authority does not apply
to those U.S. citizens appointed locally whose salaries are paid from Bina-
tional Center operating funds.)
942 Report of Missing or Comprised Documents
Any employee who discovers that a classified or administratively controlled
document is missing must make a prompt report to the Ofiice of Security or
regional security officer via his unit or post security oflicer. In the case of a
known or suspected compromise of a Top Secret document or crytographic ma-
terial, the report must be made immediately. Telegraphic or oral reports must
be followed by a prompt submission** of a memorandum address to the OflSce
of Security or regional security ofiicer, which includes the following informa-
a. Complete identification of the material, including, when possible, the date,
subject, originator, address, serial or legend markings, classification and type
of material (i.e., telegram, memorandum, airgram. etc.).
b. Where compromise is believed to have occurred, a narrative statement de-
tailing the circumstance which gave rise to the compromise, the unauthorized
person who had or may have had access to the material, the steps taken to de-
termine whether compromise in fact occurred and the office or post evaluation
of the importance of the material compromised.
c. Where a document is lost or missing, the narrative statement should de-
tail the movements of the material from the time it was received by the post
or office, including to whom it was initially delivered; later routings; the per-
sons having access to the material ; the time, date, and circumstances under
wliich loss was realized ; and the steps taken to locate the material.**
**d. When material is either compromised or missing, identify if possible the
person responsible and state the action taken with regard to the person and/or
procedures to prevent a recurrence.
Where cryptographic material is involved, a report is also to be made to the
Office of Communications (OC/S) using FS-50T, Report of Violation of Com-
943 OflBcial Dissemination
943.1 Distribution to Other Agencies
Classified or administratively controlled material may be sent to other Fed-
eral departments or agencies or to officials and committees of Congress or to
individuals therein only through established liaison or distribution channels.
An exception is permitted when a post tran.smits classified or administratively
controlled material to an office of another U.S. Government agency within the
executive branch located outside the United States.
Classified or administratively controlled material originated in another U.S.
department or agency must not be communicated to a third department or
agency without the consent of the originating department or agency, including
material originated in State, USIA, and A.I.D. Such approval must be obtained
in writing, and a record of the approval and communication must be main-
tained by the communicator.
943.2 Referral of Public Requests
**Requests from the public for classified records, whether made to a Depart-
ment or Agency office within the United States, or to a post abroad, must be
referred to the Chief, Records Services Division (State) ; Director. Informa-
tion Staff (A.I.D.) ; or Assistant Director, Office of Public Information
(USIA). as appropriate.
Administratively controlled and unclassified records may be released upon
approval by chiefs or mission at Foreign Service posts in accordance with 5
FAi\I 482.2. Administratively controlled and imclassified records abroad of
A.I.D. and of USIA may also be released by the A.I.D. country mission direc-
tor and by the USIA country public affairs officer respectively. See M.O. 820.1
and M.O.A. III 526.
Requests for classified or for administratively controlled records which the
cliief of mission (ior A.I.D., the mission director, or for USIA, the public af-
fairs officer) has declined to make available on his own authority, should be
siibmitted to the appropriate agency, by operations memorandum for State and
USIA and by airgrum for A.I.D., containing sufficient information to permit
consideration of the request.
Classified or administratively controlled records to be made available to the
public by the above-identified authorized officers in the United States and
abroad must first be declassified or decontrolled in accordance with the provi-
sions of 5 FAiNI 9C6.4.
For more detailed procedures on releasing records to the public, see the ap-
propriate Department or Agency regulations. (State, 5 FAM 480, A.I.D., M.O.
820.1; USIA, M.O.A. Ill 526).**
943.3 Clearance for Publication
**Any employee writing for publication, either in an official or private ca-
pacity, must submit his manuscript for agency clearance if the content may
reasonably be interpreted as related to the current responsibilities, programs,
or operations of the employee's agency or to current U.S. foreign policy, or
may reasonably be expected to affect U.S. foreign relations. For detailed clear-
ance procedures, see 3 FAM 628 and 18G5, M.O. 831.1 and MOA II 120.**
943.4.Use of Official Records
The regulations governing access to official records are set forth in 5 FAM
480, M.O. 820.1, and MOA III 526. They include procedures to be followed for
access to official records for purposes of historical research.
943.5 Release of Material to U.S. Citizen Personnel Outside the Executive
Clas.sified and administratively controlled material must not be released to
persons who are not security cleared U.S. citizen employees of the executive
branch of the U.S. Government until appropriate security checks and briefings
have been completed. Release of such material or information shall be made
only when consistent with security and administrative requirements. Responsi-
bility for authorizing release is vested as follows :
Top Secret, Secret, CovfidentiaJ, and Limited Official Use Material â€” The con-
currence of both the director of the originating or action office and the direc-
tor of the Office of Security must be obtained prior to the release of any
classified or administratively controlled information. Either the originating or
action office concerned with the substance of the information may decide
whether it can be declassified or decontrolled and released or whether it can
be released without such action. If the information to be released remains
classified or administratively controlled, the Office of Security must specify the
manner in which the release is to be effected including special markings, re-
ceipts, and such other safeguards as are deemed necessary to ensure that the
information receives appropriate protection.
943.6 Dissemination Ordered or Requested by a Court of Law or Other
**a. Except as provided in section 943.2 any sulipena, demand, or request for
classified or controlled information or records from a court of law or other of-
ficial body shall be handled in accordance with the regulations of the agency
concerned which prescribe procedures for responding to subpenas (State, 5
FAM 485; USIA. MOA III 527 and 625.6)**
b. Testimony involving classified or administratively controlled information
must not be given before a court or other official body without the a])proval of
the head of the Department or Agency concerned. An employee called upon to
give such testimony without prior authorization shall state that he is not au-
thorized to disclose the information desired and that a written request for the
specific information should be transmitted to the head of the Department or
Agency concerned. Such testimony, when so approved, shall be given only
under such conditions as the head of the department or agency may prescribe.
c. Reports rendered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other inves-
tigative agencies of the executive branch are to be regarded as confidential. All
reports, records, and files relative to the loyalty of employees or prospective
employees (including reports of such investigative agencies) sliall be main-
tained in confidence, and shall not be transmitted or disclosed except as is re-
quired in the efficient conduct of business, and then, only in accordance witli
the provisions* of the President's directive of March 13, 1948. (See Appendix
II. ) *
944 Dissemination to Foreign Governments
944.1 Dissemination of Classified Defense Information to Foreign Govern-
ments and International Organizations
For detailed instructions governing the release of classified information to
foreign governments and international organizations, see 11 FAM 600.
d. In the domestic .service .specific approval to remove classified or adminis-
tratively controlled material for overnight cu.stody must be obtained from an
office director or higher authority. At posts, specific approval must be obtained
from the principal officer or officers designated by him to approve such remov-
964.3 Transporting Classified and Administratively Controlled Material Across
Classified and administratively controlled material is carried across interna-
tional borders by professional diplomatic couriers. Nonprofessional diplomatic
couriers are given such material for international transmission only in emer-
gencies when the professional service will not cover the area into wliich the
pouch must be carried or the post to which the pouch is addressed within the
time that official business must be conducted. In such isolated cases, the non-
professional diplomatic courier must be in possession of a diplomatic passport
and courier letter, and his material must be enclosed in sealed diplomatic
pouches until delivered to its official destination. Special procedures are in ef-
fect for U.S. -Mexican border posts.
964.4 Personal Responsibilities
The safeguarding of classified or administratively controlled material re-
moved from official premises remains the personal responsibility of the remov-
ing officer even tliough all conditions of section 964 have been met.
964.5 Office Working or Reference Files
Information and working files acciunulated in the course of Government
employment are not personal files as defined in section 432, M.O. 520.1, and
MOA III Exhibit 610A. The transfer or removal of such working or reference
files shall he in accordance with the provisions of sections 417 and 443.2, M.O.
520.1. and MOA III 512.6.
953 Storage and Access of Classified and Administratively Controlled Mate-
rial by Persons not Regularly Employed
Authorized consultants and contractors engaged in work involving classified
or administratively controlled material may not store classified or administra-
tively controlled niaterial overnight on their premises unless the Office of Secu-
rity has granted approval fen- such storage. No classified or administratively
controlled material may be made available to consultants or contractors off the
official premises or transmitted to such persons off the premises except with
the approval of the Office of Security.
Contractors or consultants may not have access to classified administratively
controlled materials until a personnel security clearance has been given or con-
firmed by the Office of Security. Employees are personally re.sponsible for ob-
taining clearance from the Office of Security prior to release or transmitting of
classified or administratively controlled material to a consultant or contractor
add lessee off the premises. Normally, such material is sent through the Office
966 Downgrading, declassification, and decontrol
966.1 Automatic Changes
Classified and administratively controlled material should be kept under re-
view and be downgraded, declassified, or decontrolled as soon as conditions
permit. When material is assigned a classification or control designation, it
must also be assigned a group marking and/or identifying notation to effect its
automatic downgrading, declassification, or decontrol when the material no
lonf::er requires its orisinal desree of protection. There are five standaril group
markings and identifying notations associated with the automatic downgrading
and declassification of classified material and two identifying notations associ-
ated with the automatic decontrol of administratively controlled material. In
atypical situations where the standard group markings and notations do not
adequately describe the method or time-phase intended to accomplish the auto-
matic downgrading procedure, the notations may be enlarged upon or amended.
Group markings and identifying notations should be placed, whenever possible,
two spaces above the defense classification or control designation appearing at
tlie bottom of page one on all copies.
966.2 Classified Documents
966.2-1 Group 5 documents are those which do not require a classification
protection for any regulatory period of time specified for the protection of doc-
uments assigned to Groups 4 through 1. To the greatest extent possible, classi-
fied documents that can be assigned to Group 5 should be so assigned and be
Group 5 â€” -(Declassified following date or conclusion of specific event, or re-
moval of classified enclosures or attachments)
966.2 â€” 2 Group ^ documents are those requiring protection for a minimum
number of years, at the conclusion of which they may be declassified. Group 4
documents are automatically downgraded one step each 3 years and are auto-
matically declassified 12 years after the date of origin. Such documents should
be marked :
Group 4 â€” Downgraded at 3-year intervals. Declassified 12 years after date of
966.2 â€” 3 Group 3 documents are those whicli may he aiitomatically down-
graded but not automatically declassified. Such documents should be marked :
Gl'oup 3 â€” Downgraded at 12-year intervals, not automatically declassified.
966.2 â€” 4 Group 2 documents are Top Secret and Secret documents which
are so extremely sensitive that in the interests of national defense they must
retain their classificiation for an indefinite period of time. Only an official em-
powered to exercise original Top Secret classification authority may assign a
document to Group 2. Such documents must be signed by the exempting official
when his identity is not apparent from the document itself and must be
Group 2 â€” Exempted from automatic downgrading By (Signature and Title
of Exempting Official).
966.2 â€” 5 Group 1 documents are those classified documents excluded from
the automatic downgrading and declassification provisions because they contain
information or material as follows :
a. Originated by foreign governments or international organizations not sub-
ject to the classification jurisdiction of the U.S. Government.
b. Provided for by statutes, such as the Atomic Energy Act.
c. Specifically excluded from these provisions by the head of the Department