Doc:DoD 5220.22-M Chapter 4

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Classification and Marking

Section 1. Classification

4-100 General
  Information is classified under reference (b) by an original classification authority and is designated and marked as TOP SECRET, SECRET, or CONFIDENTIAL. The designation UNCLASSIFIED is used to identify information that does not require a security classification. Except as provided by statute, no other terms may be used to identify classified information.
4-101 Original Classification
  An original classification decision at any level can be made only by a U.S. Government official who has been delegated the authority in writing. A determination to originally classify information may be made only when (a) an original classification authority is classifying the information; (b) the information falls into one or more of the categories set forth in reference (b); (c) the unauthorized disclosure of the information, either by itself or in context with other information, reasonably could be expected to cause damage to the national security, which includes defense against transnational terrorism, that can be identified or described by the original classifier; and (d) the information is owned by, produced by or for, or is under the control of the U. S. Government. The original classifier must state the concise "Reason" for classification on the front of the document. The original classifier must also indicate either a date or event for the duration of classification for up to 10 years from the date of the original classification decision unless the date is further extended due to information sensitivities for up to 25 years.
4-102 Derivative Classification Responsibilities

a. Contractors who extract or summarize classified information, or who apply classification markings derived from a source document, or are directed by a classification guide or a Contract Security Classification Specification, are making derivative classification decisions. The FSO shall ensure that all employees authorized to perform derivative classification actions are sufficiently trained and that they possess, or have ready access to, the pertinent classification guides and/or guidance necessary to fulfill these important actions. Any specialized training required to implement these responsibilities will be provided by the CSA upon request.
b. Employees who copy or extract classified information from another document, or who reproduce or translate an entire document, shall be responsible:
(1) For marking the new document or copy with the same classification markings as applied to the information or document from which the new document or copy was prepared and
(2) For challenging the classification if there is reason to believe the information is classified unnecessarily or improperly.
c. For information derivatively classified based on multiple sources, the derivative classifier shall: (1) carry forward the date or event for declassification that corresponds to the longest period of classification among the sources, and (2) maintain a listing of those sources on or attached to the official file or record copy.
d. Commensurate with their involvement, all personnel who have access to classified information shall be provided with security classification guidance.
4-103 Security Classification Guidance
  The GCA is responsible for incorporating appropriate security requirements clauses in a classified contract, Invitation for Bid (IFB), Request for Proposal (RFP), Request for Quotation (RFQ), or other solicitation, and for providing the contractor with the security classification guidance needed during the performance of the contract. This guidance is provided to the contractor by the Contract Security Classification Specification. The Contract Security Classification Specification must identify the specific elements of classified information involved in the contract that require security protection.
a. Contractors shall, to the extent practicable, advise and assist in the development of the original Contract Security Classification Specification. It is the contractor’s responsibility to understand and apply all aspects of the classification guidance. Users of classification guides are also encouraged to notify the originator of the guide when they acquire information that suggests the need for change in the instructions contained in the guide. Classification guidance is, notwithstanding the contractor’s input, the exclusive responsibility of the GCA, and the final determination of the appropriate classification for the information rests with that activity. The Contract Security Classification Specification is a contractual specification necessary for performance on a classified contract. If a classified contract is received without a Contract Security Classification Specification, the contractor shall advise the GCA.
b. The GCA is required to review the existing guidance periodically during the performance stages of the contract and to issue a revised Contract Security Classification Specification when a change occurs to the existing guidance or when additional security classification guidance is needed by the contractor.
c. Upon completion of a classified contract, the contractor must dispose of the classified information according to Chapter 5, Section 7. If the GCA does not advise to the contrary, the contractor may retain classified material for a period of 2 years following completion of the contract. The Contract Security Classification Specification will continue in effect for this 2-year period. If the GCA determines the contractor has a continuing need for the material, the GCA must issue a final Contract Security Classification Specification for the classified contract. A final specification is provided to show the retention period and to provide final disposition instructions for the classified material under the contract.
4-104 Challenges to Classification
  Should a contractor believe (a) that information is classified improperly or unnecessarily; or (b) that current security considerations justify downgrading to a lower classification or upgrading to a higher classification; or (c) that the security classification guidance is improper or inadequate, the contractor shall discuss such issues with the pertinent GCA for remedy. If a solution is not forthcoming, and the contractor believes that corrective action is still required, a formal written challenge shall be made to the GCA. Such challenges shall include a description sufficient to identify the issue, the reasons why the contractor believes that corrective action is required, and any recommendations for appropriate corrective action. In any case, the information in question shall be safeguarded as required by this Manual for its assigned or proposed level of classification, whichever is higher, until action is completed. If no written answer is received within 60 days, the CSA should be requested to provide assistance in obtaining a response. If no response is received from the GCA within 120 days, the contractor may also forward the challenge to the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP) through the ISOO. The fact that a contractor has initiated such a challenge will not, in any way, serve as a basis for adverse action by the Government. If a contractor believes that adverse action did result from a classification challenge, full details should be furnished promptly to the ISOO for resolution.
4-105 Contractor Developed Information
  Whenever a contractor develops an unsolicited proposal or originates information not in the performance of a classified contract, the following rules shall apply:
a. If the information was previously identified as classified, it shall be classified according to an appropriate Contract Security Classification Specification, classification guide, or source document, and marked as required by this Chapter.
b. If the information was not previously classified, but the contractor believes the information may or should be classified, the contractor should protect the information as though classified at the appropriate level and submit it to the agency that has an interest in the subject matter for a classification determination. In such a case, the following marking, or one that clearly conveys the same meaning, may be used:
This marking shall appear conspicuously at least once on the material but no further markings are necessary until a classification determination is received. In addition, contractors are not precluded from marking such material as company-private or proprietary information. Pending a final classification determination, the contractor should protect the information. It should be noted however, that reference (b) prohibits classification of information over which the Government has no jurisdiction. To be eligible for classification, the information must: (1) incorporate classified information to which the contractor was given prior access, or (2) the Government must first acquire a proprietary interest in the information.
4-106 Classified Information Appearing in Public Media
  The fact that classified information has been made public does not mean that it is automatically declassified. Contractors shall continue the classification until formally advised to the contrary. Questions about the propriety of continued classification in these cases should be brought to the immediate attention of the GCA.
4-107 Downgrading or Declassifying Classified Information
  Information is downgraded or declassified based on the loss of sensitivity of the information due to the passage of time or on occurrence of a specific event. Contractors downgrade or declassify information based on the guidance provided in a Contract Security Classification Specification or upon formal notification. If material is marked for automatic declassification, the contractor shall seek guidance from the GCA prior to taking any action. Downgrading or declassifying actions constitute implementation of a directed action rather than an exercise of the authority for deciding the change or cancellation of the classification. At the time the material is actually downgraded or declassified, the action to update records and change the classification markings shall be initiated and performed. Declassification is not automatically an approval for public disclosure.

Section 2. Marking Requirements

4-200 General
  Physically marking classified information with appropriate classification markings serves to warn and inform holders of the information of the degree of protection required. Other notations facilitate downgrading, declassification, and aid in derivative classification actions. Therefore, it is essential that all classified information and material be marked to clearly convey to the holder the level of classification assigned, the portions that contain or reveal classified information, the period of time protection is required, and any other notations required for protection of the information.
4-201 Marking Requirements for Information and Material
  As a general rule, the markings specified in paragraphs 4-202 through 4-208 are required for all classified information regardless of the form in which it appears. Some material, such as documents, letters, and reports, can be easily marked with the required markings. Marking other material, such as equipment, IS media, and slides may be more difficult due to size or other physical characteristics. Since the primary purpose of the markings is to alert the holder that the information requires special protection, it is essential that all classified material be marked to the fullest extent possible to ensure the necessary safeguarding.
4-202 Identification Markings
  All classified material shall be marked to show the name and address of the contractor responsible for its preparation, and the date of preparation. These markings are required on the face of all classified documents.
4-203 Overall Markings
  The highest level of classified information contained in a document is its overall marking. The overall marking shall be conspicuously marked or stamped at the top and bottom on the outside of the front cover, on the title page, on the first page, and on the outside of the back. All copies of classified documents shall also bear the required markings. Overall markings shall be stamped, printed, etched, written, engraved, painted, or affixed by means of a tag, sticker, decal, or similar device on classified material other than documents, and on containers of such material, if possible. If marking the material or container is not practical, written notification of the markings shall be furnished to recipients.
4-204 Page Markings
  Interior pages of classified documents shall be conspicuously marked or stamped at the top and bottom with the highest classification of the information appearing thereon, or the designation UNCLASSIFIED, if all the information on the particular page is UNCLASSIFIED. Alternatively, the overall classification of the document may be conspicuously marked or stamped at the top and bottom of each interior page, when necessary to achieve production efficiency, and the particular information to which classification is assigned is adequately identified by portion markings according to paragraph 4-206.
4-205 Component Markings
  The major components of complex documents are likely to be used separately. In such cases, each major component shall be marked as a separate document. Examples include: (a) each annex, appendix, or similar component of a plan, program, or project description; (b) attachments and appendices to a letter; and (c) each major part of a report. If an entire major component is UNCLASSIFIED, the first page of the component may be marked at the top and bottom with the designation UNCLASSIFIED and a statement included, such as: "All portions of this (annex, appendix, etc.) are UNCLASSIFIED." When this method of marking is used, no further markings are required on the unclassified major component.
4-206 Portion Markings
  Each section, part, paragraph, or similar portion of a classified document shall be marked to show the highest level of its classification, or that the portion is unclassified. Portions of documents shall be marked in a manner that eliminates doubt as to which of its portions contain or reveal classified information. Classification levels of portions of a document shall be shown by the appropriate classification symbol placed immediately following the portion's letter or number, or in the absence of letters or numbers, immediately before the beginning of the portion. In marking portions, the parenthetical symbols (TS) for TOP SECRET, (S) for SECRET, (C) for CONFIDENTIAL, and (U) for UNCLASSIFIED shall be used.
a. Illustrations, photographs, figures, graphs, drawings, charts, or similar portions contained in classified documents shall be marked clearly to show their classified or unclassified status. These classification markings shall not be abbreviated and shall be prominent and placed within or contiguous to such a portion. Captions of such portions shall be marked on the basis of their content.
b. If, in an exceptional situation, marking of the portions is determined to be impractical, the classified document shall contain a description sufficient to identify the exact information that is classified and the classification level(s) assigned to it. For example, each portion of a document need not be separately marked if all portions are classified at the same level, provided a full explanation is included in the document.
4-207 Subject and Title Markings
  Unclassified subjects and titles shall be selected for classified documents, if possible. A classified subject or title shall be marked with the appropriate symbol placed immediately following the item.
4-208 Markings for Derivatively Classified Documents
  All classified information shall be marked to reflect the source of the classification and declassification instructions. Documents shall show the required information either on the cover, first page, title page, or in another prominent position. Other material shall show the required information on the material itself or, if not practical, in related or accompanying documentation.
a. "DERIVED FROM" Line. The purpose of the "Derived From" line is to link the derivative classification applied to the material by the contractor and the source document(s) or classification guide(s) under which it was classified. In completing the "Derived From" line, the contractor shall identify the applicable guidance that authorizes the classification of the material. Normally this will be a security classification guide listed on the Contract Security Classification Specification or a source document. When identifying a classification guide on the "Derived From" line, the guide’s title or number, issuing agency, and date shall be included. Many Contract Security Classification Specifications cite more than one classification guide and/or the contractor is extracting information from more than one classified source document. In these cases, the contractor may use the phrase "multiple sources." When the phrase "multiple sources" is used, the contractor shall maintain records that support the classification for the duration of the contract under which the material was created. These records may take the form of a bibliography identifying the applicable classification sources and be included in the text of the document or they may be maintained with the file or record copy of the document. When practical, this information should be included in or with all copies of the derivatively classified document. If the only source for the derivative classification instructions is the Contract Security Classification Specification, the date of the specification and the specific contract number for which it was issued shall be included on the "Derived From" line.
b. "DECLASSIFY ON" Line. The purpose of the "Declassify On" line is to provide declassification instructions appropriate for the material. When completing this line, the contractor shall use the information specified in the Contract Security Classification Specification or classification guide furnished with a classified contract. Or, the contractor shall carry forward the duration instruction from the source document or classification guide (e.g., date or event). When the source is marked "Original Agency’s Determination Required" (OADR) or “X1 through X8”, the "Declassify On" line should indicate that the source material was marked with one of these instructions and the date of origin of the most recent source document as appropriate to the circumstances. When a document is classified derivatively on the basis of more than one source document or more than one element of a classification guide, the "Declassify On" line shall reflect the longest duration of any of its sources. Material containing RD or FRD shall not have a "Declassify On" line.
c. "DOWNGRADE TO" Line. When downgrading instructions are contained in the Contract Security Classification Specification, classification guide or source document a "Downgrade To" line will be included. When completing this line, the contractor shall insert SECRET or CONFIDENTIAL and an effective date or event. The markings used to show this information are:
d. "CLASSIFIED BY" Line and "REASON CLASSIFIED" Line. As a general rule, a "Classified By" line and a "Reason Classified" line will be shown only on originally classified documents. However, certain agencies may require that derivatively classified documents contain a "Classified By" line to identify the derivative classifier and a "Reason Classified" Line to identify the specific reason for the derivative classification. Instructions for the use of these lines will be included in the security classification guidance provided with the contract.
4-209 Documents Generated Under Previous E
  O.s. Documents classified under previous E.O.s need not be re-marked to comply with the marking requirements of reference (b).
a. Classified material originated under recent E.O.s contains overall, portion, paragraph, and appropriate downgrading and declassification markings that will provide sufficient guidance for the classification of extracted information. However, classified material originated under previous E.O.s may not have these markings. If the source document does not contain portion markings, the overall classification of the source document shall be used for the extracted information in the new document.
b. The classification markings for a source document are the responsibility of the originator and not the contractor extracting the information. Contractors are encouraged to contact the originator to avoid improper or unnecessary classification of material.
4-210 Marking Special Types of Material
  The following procedures are for marking special types of material, but are not all inclusive. The intent of the markings is to ensure that the classification of the item, regardless of its form, is clear to the holder.
a. Files, Folders, or Groups of Documents. Files, folders, binders, envelopes, and other items containing classified documents, when not in secure storage, shall be conspicuously marked with the highest classification of any classified item included in the group. Cover sheets may be used for this purpose.
b. E-mail and other Electronic Messages. Electronically transmitted messages shall be marked in the same manner required for other documents except as noted. The overall classification of the message shall be the first item of information in the text. A "Derived From" line is required on messages. Certain agencies may also require that messages contain a "Classified By" and a "Reason Classified" line in order to identify the derivative classifier and the specific reason for classification. Instructions for the use of such lines will be included in the security classification guidance provided with the contract documents. When messages are printed by an automated system, all markings may be applied by that system, provided the classification markings are clearly distinguished from the printed text. The last line of text of the message shall include the declassification instructions.
c. Microforms. Microforms contain images or text in sizes too small to be read by the unaided eye. The applicable markings shall be conspicuously marked on the microform medium or its container to be readable by the unaided eye. These markings shall also be included on the image so that when the image is enlarged and displayed or printed, the markings will be conspicuous and readable. Further markings and handling shall be as appropriate for the particular microform involved.
d. Translations. Translations of U.S. classified information into a language other than English shall be marked to show the United States as the country of origin, with the appropriate U.S. markings and the foreign language equivalent.
4-211 Marking Transmittal Documents
  A transmittal document shall be marked with the highest level of classified information contained in the document and with an appropriate notation to indicate its classification when the enclosures are removed. An unclassified document that transmits a classified document as an attachment shall bear a notation substantially as follows: “Unclassified when Separated from Classified Enclosures.” A classified transmittal that transmits higher classified information shall be marked with a notation substantially as follows: “CONFIDENTIAL (or SECRET) when Separated from Enclosures.” In addition, a classified transmittal itself must bear all the classification markings required for a classified document.
4-212 Marking Wholly Unclassified Material
  Normally, wholly UNCLASSIFIED material will not be marked or stamped UNCLASSIFIED unless it is essential to convey to a recipient of such material that (a) the material has been examined specifically with a view to impose a security classification and has been determined not to require classification; or (b) the material has been reviewed and has been determined to no longer require classification and it is declassified.
4-213 Marking Compilations
  In some instances, certain information that would otherwise be unclassified when standing alone may require classification when combined or associated with other unclassified information. When classification is required to protect a compilation of such information, the overall classification assigned to the compilation shall be conspicuously affixed. The reason for classifying the compilation shall be stated at an appropriate location at or near the beginning of the compilation. In this instance, the portions of a compilation classified in this manner need not be marked.
4-214 Marking Miscellaneous Material
  Material developed in connection with the handling, processing, production, and utilization of classified information shall be handled in a manner that ensures adequate protection of the classified information involved and shall be destroyed at the earliest practical time, unless a requirement exists to retain such material. There is no requirement to mark such material.
4-215 Marking Training Material
  Unclassified documents or material that are created to simulate or demonstrate classified documents or material shall be clearly marked to indicate the actual UNCLASSIFIED status of the information. For example: SECRET FOR TRAINING PURPOSES ONLY, OTHERWISE UNCLASSIFIED or UNCLASSIFIED SAMPLE, or a similar marking may be used.
4-216 Downgrading or Declassification Actions
  When documents or material that have been downgraded or declassified are removed from storage for use or for transmittal outside the facility, they shall be re-marked according to paragraph a or b below. If the volume of material is such that prompt re-marking of each classified item cannot be accomplished without unduly interfering with operations, a downgrading and declassification notice may be attached to the inside of the file drawers or other storage container instead of the re-marking otherwise required. Each notice shall specify the authority for the downgrading or declassification action, the date of the action, and the storage container to which it applies. When documents or other material subject to downgrading or declassification are withdrawn from the container solely for transfer to another, or when the container is transferred from one place to another, the transfer may be made without re-marking if the notice is attached to the new container or remains with each shipment.
a. Prior to taking any action to downgrade or declassify information, the contractor shall seek guidance from the GCA. If such action is approved, all old classification markings shall be canceled and the new markings substituted, whenever practical. In the case of documents, as a minimum the outside of the front cover, the title page, the first page, and the outside of the back shall reflect the new classification markings, or the designation UNCLASSIFIED. Other material shall be re-marked by the most practical method for the type of material involved to ensure that it is clear to the holder what level of classification is assigned to the material.
b. When contractors are notified of downgrading or declassification actions that are contrary to the markings shown on the material, the material shall be re-marked to indicate the change. In addition, the material shall be marked to indicate the authority for the action, the date of the action, and the identity of the person or contractor taking the action. Other holders shall be notified if further dissemination has been made by the contractor.
4-217 Upgrading Action

a. When a notice is received to upgrade material to a higher level, for example from CONFIDENTIAL to SECRET, the new markings shall be immediately entered on the material according to the notice to upgrade, and all the superseded markings shall be obliterated. The authority for and the date of the upgrading action shall be entered on the material. Other holders shall be notified as appropriate if further dissemination of the material has been made by the contractor.
b. The contractor’s notice shall not be classified unless the notice contains additional information warranting classification. In the case of material which was inadvertently released as UNCLASSIFIED, the contractor’s notice shall be classified CONFIDENTIAL, unless it contains additional information warranting a higher classification. The notice shall cite the applicable Contract Security Classification Specification or other classification guide on the "Derived From" line and be marked with an appropriate declassification instruction.
4-218 Inadvertent Release
  If classified material is inadvertently distributed outside the facility without the proper classification assigned to it, or without any markings to identify the material as classified, the contractor shall, as appropriate:
a. Determine whether all holders of the material are cleared and authorized access to it.
b. Determine whether control of the material has been lost.
c. If recipients are cleared for access to the material, promptly provide written notice to all holders of the proper classification to be assigned. If control of the material has been lost, if all copies cannot be accounted for, or if unauthorized personnel have had access to it, report the compromise to the CSA.