187 ways they keep things secret from you
Bohemia, Focal Point, Reserve, SETTEE
Confidential, Secret, Top Secret. In the beginning, that’s what the Gods created. Nothing else was supposed to be used, except that some civil agencies used Restricted and Official Use for non-national defense information. Then came the three letter agencies and they introduced their own controlled systems, for cryptographic information (CRYPTO) and then various categories of intelligence derived from intercepts, from satellites, and on and on.
Then came dissemination control, that something could only circulate to a smaller group. And smaller group. Special access programs (SAPs) were born, where access to the SAP reuired indoctrination and special “tickets”. Then came 9/11, and though the lack of sharing was ascribed to “walls” between law enforcement and intelligence and to government culture, the truth was that there were now too much information for analysts and decision-makers to digest, and too many compartments and controls standing in the way of dissemination. Sharing was born, and yet the numbers of different types of classification (even of unclassified information) grew.
Edward Snowden’s releases added yet more types of compartments (each attached to Secret or Top Secret) and sub-compartments to hide how was being monitered, how intercepts were being monitored, and from where. Though I list 187 different restriction categories to how dissemination of information is controlled, there are more. And there are way too many sub-categories of Exceptionally Controlled Information (ECI) to mention here. (Robert Sesek’s listings are here and here.)
1C or 2C - Federal
3C or 4C - Federal
5C or 6C - Federal
ACGU: FOUR EYES (Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, United States)
Agency Internal Use Only (AIUO)
ATOMAL (NATO Atomic Material)
Authorized for Release to (REL TO) (dissemination control code)
Avicula (NATO Secret Avicula) (use eliminated in December 2005)
Bomb Tech Sensitive (BTS)
Balk (used with COSMIC Top Secret) (NATO exercise codeword equivalent of Bohemia)
Bohemia (CTS-B) (used with COSMIC Top Secret) (NATO codeword)
BYEMAN (BYE or B): The NRO BYEMAN SCI control system was retired on 20 May 2005. All previous data protected in the BYE control system, except BYE Special Handling, became part of the TALENT-KEYHOLE Control System.
CA (UK equivalent to Confidential RD)
CFIUS Information (CFUIS)
Chemical-Terrorism Vulnerability Information (CVI)
Confidential NSI (national security information)
COMINT (Communications Intelligence) (marked as SI)
COMINT Gamma: Communications Intelligence derived from satellites
COMINT VRK (Very Restricted Knowledge): Communications intelligence sub-compartment
COMINT ECI: Communications Intelligence Exceptionally Controlled Information sub-compartment
Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI)
COSMIC Top Secret (NATO)
COSMIC Top Secret Atomal (CTSA) (NATO/UK)
CRYPTO (Cryptographic Material): Information or materials that must be handled through special cryptographic channels.
Critical Nuclear Weapon Design Information (CNWDI)
DCNI (DOD controlled unclassified nuclear information)
DEA Sensitive (DSEN)
Do Not Disseminate
DOE - Nuclear
DOE – C (Confidential)
DOE – L (Secret)
DOE – Q (Top Secret)
DS (Non-IC marking)
Exceptionally Controlled Information (ECI) (NSA): formerly LACONIC
ECNI (DOE controlled unclassified nuclear information)
ECTF (European Counter-Terrorism Forces)
Enforcement Confidential Information (ECI)
EXDIS (XD) (exclusive distribution)
Export Controlled Information (ECI)
FGI (Foreign Government Information) (Used with country protection code)
FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act)
FVEY: FIVE EYES (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States)
Focal Point: JSOC and clandestine special operations forces handling category.
For Internal Use Only
For Official Use Only (FOUO)
Formerly Restricted Data (FRD) (dissemination control code)
GAMMA (G): NRO GAMMA control system; may only be used with Top Secret and requires SI and ORCON.
GCTF (Global Counter-Terrorism Forces)
GMIF (Global Maritime Interception Forces)
Grand Jury Information
Hollow Tile (HT)
HUMINT (not longer in use, replaced by HCS)
HUMINT Control System (HCS) (SCI control code)
HUMINT Control System-P (Product)
IMCON (Controlled Imagery) (or IMC) (dissemination control code)
KEYRUT (dissemination control code) (NSA)
KLAMATH (KLM) (CIA)
KLONDIKE (KDK) (NGA)
LACONIC (LAC) (NSA) (dissemination control code): No longer in use, now ECI. LACONIC could only be used with Top Secret and required SI and a three-ALPHA character identifier (e.g., RIT) that was associated with a special access program (SAP).
Law Enforcement Sensitive (LES) (Non-IC marking)
Limited Distribution (LIMDIS)
Limited Official Use (LOU)
Limited Official Use (Sensitive) (Department of Justice)
Limited Use Only (LUO)
LOMA: STRATCOM SCI control system for Foreign Instrumentation and Signature Intelligence (FISINT).
National Security Information (Department of Justice)
NATO Confidential (NC)
NATO Confidential Atomal (NCA) (NATO/UK)
NATO Restricted (NR)
NATO Secret (NS)
NATO Secret Atomal (NSAT) (NATO/UK)
NATO Unclassified (NU)
Naval Nuclear Propulsion Information (U-NNPI)
NC2-ESI (nuclear command and control extremely sensitive information)
Nike Lance: Special operations forces handling category.
NCA (classification code)
ND (Non-IC marking)
NOCONTRACT (Not Releasable to Contractors/Consultants)
NODIS (ND) (no distribution)
Not for Distribution Safeguards Information (SGI)
Not Releasable to Foreign Nationals (NOFORN/NF)
OADR (originating agency determination required) (eliminated in 1995)
OC (dissemination control code)
Official Use Only (OUO)
Official Use Only - Export Controlled Information
Official Sensitive (UK)
Operations Security Protected Information (OSPI)
ORCON (OC) (Originator Controlled)
Orion Lancer: Special operations forces handling category.
Personal Identity Information (PII)
Power Geyser: Special operations forces handling category associated with continuity of government and WMD.
PR (dissemination control code)
Pre-decisional / Pre-decisional Product
Restricted (R) (classification code)
PROPIN (PR) (Caution - Proprietary Information Involved)
Protected Critical Infrastructure Information (PCII)
RAGTIME: Navy SSBN compartment.
RELIDO (releasable by information disclosure official) (dissemination control code)
RESERVE (RSV): NRO Control System used to protect former BYEMAN Special Handling compartments.
Restricted (UK only) (now Official-Sensitive)
Restricted Data (RD): DOE dissemination control code defined by the Atomic Energy Act as all data concerning: Design, manufacture, or utilization of atomic weapons; production of special nuclear material; use of Special Nuclear Material in the production of energy.
Restricted Data – Critical Nuclear Weapons Design Information (RD-CNWDI) (dissemination control code)
RS (dissemination control code)
RSEN (risk sensitive?) (imagery product)
Savate (NATO Secret Savate): No longer in use, eliminated in December 2005.
SC (Non-IC marking)
SEABOOT (dissemination control code)
Secret (S) (classification code)
Secret Atomic (SA): UK equivalent to Secret RD.
Select Agent Sensitive Information (SASI)
Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI)
Sensitive But Unclassified (SBU) (Non-IC marking): Formerly Limited Official Use when used by the Department of State.
Sensitive But Unclassified NOFORN (SBU-NF or SBU/NOFORN)
Sensitive Homeland Security Information (SHSI)
Sensitive Information (Computer Security Act of 1987)
Sensitive Security Information (SSI)
Sensitive Treaty Information (STM)
Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information (SUNSI)
Sensitive Water Vulnerability Assessment Information
SETTEE (dissemination control code)
Sigma 1 (RD-SG-1) (dissemination control code)
Sigma 2 (RD-SG-2) (dissemination control code)
Sigma 3 (RD-SG-3) (dissemination control code)
Sigma 4 (RD-SG-4) (dissemination control code)
Sigma 5 (RD-SG-5) (dissemination control code)
Sigma 6 (RD-SG-6) (dissemination control code)
Sigma 7 (RD-SG-7) (dissemination control code)
Sigma 8 (RD-SG-8) (dissemination control code)
Sigma 9 (RD-SG-9) (dissemination control code)
Sigma 10 (RD-SG-10) (dissemination control code)
Sigma 11 (RD-SG-11) (dissemination control code)
Sigma 12 (RD-SG-12) (dissemination control code)
Sigma 13 (RD-SG-13) (dissemination control code)
Sigma 14 (RD-SG-14) (dissemination control code)
Sigma 15 (RD-SG-15) (dissemination control code)
SINFO (sensitive information) (Non-IC marking)
SIOP-ESI (Single Integrated Operations Plan-Extremely Sensitive Information) (Non-IC marking): “This document contains extremely sensitive information affecting the Single Integrated Operational Plan. Access to this document or the information contained herein shall be strictly limited commensurate with rigorously justified requirements. Use of military controlled vehicles and two officially designated couriers is mandatory.”
Sources and Methods Information (SAMI): Dissemination control code for non-SCI sources and methods information.
Special Access Required (SAR)
Special Handling Required
Special intelligence (SI): NSA SCI control code for COMINT
Special intelligence – Gamma (SI-G) (SCI control code)
Special intelligence – Exceptionally controlled information (SI-ECI-XXX, always with an additional codename)
Special Category (SPECAT) (non-intelligence marking)
special handling (NRO)
STRAP1 (UK Top Secret COMINT)
TALENT KEYHOLE (Talent Keyhole Control System) NRO/NSA SCI control code.
TALENT KEYHOLE Byeman: Imagery satellites (defunct)
TALENT KEYHOLE Gamma: Signals intelligence satellites.
TALENT KEYHOLE H: Unknown satellites
THEOREM (UK nuclear Secret Atomic code word, definition classified)
Title III Communications (T3)
UK Confidential Atomic
UK Secret Atomic Principal
UK Secret Atomic Principal Artificer
UK Secret Conifer
UK Secret Conifer Artificer
Unclassified (U) (classification code)
Unclassified Controlled Nuclear Information (UCNI) (DOD/DOE)
WNINTEL (Warning Notice - Intelligence Sources or Methods Involved)
XD (Non-IC marking)
UTAH (UK nuclear-related, definition classified)
UCSG (UK Use Control Subgroup, nuclear weapons related)
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