E.O.12958 PDF

Security Classification Policy and Procedure: E. The order was prompted by changing security conditions in the aftermath of the end of the cold war and a desire for more economical and effective management of classified information. The directive was modified in late March by E. Largely prescribed in a series of successive presidential executive orders issued over the past 50 years, security classification policy and procedure provide the rationale and arrangements for designating information officially secret for reasons of national security, and for its declassification as well. Background Although formal armed forces information security orders had been in existence since , security classification arrangements assumed a presidential character in

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This executive order was issued by President Clinton on April 17, , and will take effect on October 14, It supersedes Executive Order No. This order prescribes a uniform system for classifying, safeguarding, and declassifying national security information. Our democratic principles require that the American people be informed of the activities of their government.

Nevertheless, throughout our history, the national interest has required that certain information be maintained in confidence in order to protect our citizens, our democratic institutions, and our participation within the community of nations. In recent years, however, dramatic changes have altered, although not eliminated, the national security threats that we confront.

These changes provide a greater opportunity to emphasize our commitment to open government. Classification Standards. This provision does not: 1 amplify or modify the substantive criteria or procedures for classification; or 2 create any substantive or procedural rights subject to judicial review. Classification Levels.

Duration of Classification. The date or event shall not exceed the time frame in paragraph b , below. This provision does not apply to information contained in records that are more than 25 years old and have been determined to have permanent historical value under title 44, United States Code.

Identification and Markings. In accordance with standards prescribed in directives issued under this order, the Director of the Information Security Oversight Office may grant waivers of this requirement for specified classes of documents or information.

The Director shall revoke any waiver upon a finding of abuse. Classification Prohibitions and Limitations. This provision does not apply to classified information contained in records that are more than 25 years old and have been determined to have permanent historical value under title 44, United States Code.

As used in this order, "compilation" means an aggregation of pre-existing unclassified items of information. Classification Challenges. Use of Derivative Classification. For information derivatively classified based on multiple sources, the derivative classifier shall carry forward: A the date or event for declassification that corresponds to the longest period of classification among the sources; and B a listing of these sources on or attached to the official file or record copy.

Classification Guides. These guides shall conform to standards contained in directives issued under this order. Authority for Declassification. In some exceptional cases, however, the need to protect such information may be outweighed by the public interest in disclosure of the information, and in these cases the information should be declassified. When such questions arise, they shall be referred to the agency head or the senior agency official.

That official will determine, as an exercise of discretion, whether the public interest in disclosure outweighs the damage to national security that might reasonably be expected from disclosure. Automatic Declassification. Subsequently, all classified information in such records shall be automatically declassified no longer than 25 years from the date of its original classification, except as provided in paragraph b , below.

The notification shall include: 1 a description of the file series; 2 an explanation of why the information within the file series is almost invariably exempt from automatic declassification and why the information must remain classified for a longer period of time; and 3 except for the identity of a confidential human source or a human intelligence source, as provided in paragraph b , above, a specific date or event for declassification of the information.

The President may direct the agency head not to exempt the file series or to declassify the information within that series at an earlier date than recommended. Systematic Declassification Review.

This program shall apply to historically valuable records exempted from automatic declassification under section 3. Mandatory Declassification Review. However, the Archivist shall have the authority to review, downgrade, and declassify information of former Presidents under the control of the Archivist pursuant to sections , , note, or of title 44, United States Code.

Review procedures developed by the Archivist shall provide for consultation with agencies having primary subject matter interest and shall be consistent with the provisions of applicable laws or lawful agreements that pertain to the respective Presidential papers or records.

Any final decision by the Archivist may be appealed by the requester or an agency to the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel.

The information shall remain classified pending a prompt decision on the appeal. They shall release this information unless withholding is otherwise authorized and warranted under applicable law. These procedures shall apply to information classified under this or predecessor orders. They also shall provide a means for administratively appealing a denial of a mandatory review request, and for notifying the requester of the right to appeal a final agency decision to the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel.

Processing Requests and Reviews. In response to a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act of , or the mandatory review provisions of this order, or pursuant to the automatic declassification or systematic review provisions of this order: a An agency may refuse to confirm or deny the existence or nonexistence of requested information whenever the fact of its existence or nonexistence is itself classified under this order.

In cases in which the originating agency determines in writing that a response under paragraph a , above, is required, the referring agency shall respond to the requester in accordance with that paragraph. Declassification Database. The Archivist shall also explore other possible uses of technology to facilitate the declassification process.

Program Direction. These directives shall be binding upon the agencies. Directives issued by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall establish standards for: 1 classification and marking principles; 2 agency security education and training programs; 3 agency self-inspection programs; and 4 classification and declassification guides.

Information Security Oversight Office. Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel. The President shall select the Chair of the Panel from among the Panel members.

The Panel shall: 1 decide on appeals by persons who have filed classification challenges under section 1. Information Security Policy Advisory Council. The Council shall be composed of seven members appointed by the President for staggered terms not to exceed 4 years, from among persons who have demonstrated interest and expertise in an area related to the subject matter of this order and are not otherwise employees of the Federal Government.

The Council shall: 1 advise the President, the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, or such other executive branch officials as it deems appropriate, on policies established under this order or its implementing directives, including recommended changes to those policies; 2 provide recommendations to agency heads for specific subject areas for systematic declassification review; and 3 serve as a forum to discuss policy issues in dispute.

General Responsibilities. General Provisions. This order is not intended, and should not be construed, to create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by a party against the United States, its agencies, its officers, or its employees.

The foregoing is in addition to the specific provisos set forth in sections 1. Effective Date. This order shall become effective days from the date of this order [October 14, ].

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