A new dissemination limiting markers DLMs scheme was also introduced for information where disclosure may be limited or prohibited by legislation, or where it may otherwise require special handling.
There are three levels of document classification under Brazilian Information Access Law: A top secret ultrassecreto government-issued document may be classified for a period of 25 years, which may be extended up to another 25 years. Thus, no document remains classified for more than 50 years. The law applies retroactively to existing documents. The Government of Canada employs two main types of sensitive information designation: The access and protection of both types of information is governed by the Security of Information Act , effective December 24, , replacing the Official Secrets Act In addition, the caveat "Canadian Eyes Only" is used to restrict access to Classified or Protected information only to Canadian citizens with the appropriate security clearance and need to know.
SOI is not a classification of data per se. It is defined under the Security of Information Act , and unauthorised release of such information constitutes a higher breach of trust, with penalty of life imprisonment.
Classified information can be designated Top Secret , Secret or Confidential. These classifications are only used on matters of national interest. Protected information is not classified. It pertains to any sensitive information that does not relate to national security and cannot be disclosed under the access and privacy legislation because of the potential injury to particular public or private interests.
Regulation and enforcement is carried out by the National Administration for the Protection of State Secrets. Under the "Law on Guarding State Secrets,"  state secrets are defined as those that concern:. In France, classified information is defined by article of the Penal Code.
This is not a classification level. Transfer of classified information is done with double envelopes, the outer layer being plastified and numbered, and the inner in strong paper.
Reception of the document involves examination of the physical integrity of the container and registration of the document. In foreign countries, the document must be transferred through specialised military mail or diplomatic bag. Once a year, ministers have an inventory of classified information and supports by competent authorities.
Once their usage period is expired, documents are transferred to archives, where they are either destroyed by incineration, crushing, or overvoltage , or stored. Violation of such secrets is an offence punishable with 7 years of imprisonment and a , Euro fine; if the offence is committed by imprudence or negligence, the penalties are 3 years of imprisonment and a 45, Euro fine.
The Security Bureau is responsible for developing policies in regards to the protection and handling of confidential government information. Four classifications exists in Hong Kong, from highest to lowest in sensitivity: Restricted documents are not classified per se , but only those who have a need to know will have access to such information, in accordance with the Personal Data Privacy Ordinance.
New Zealand uses the Restricted classification, which is lower than Confidential. People may be given access to Restricted information on the strength of an authorisation by their Head of Department , without being subjected to the background vetting associated with Confidential, Secret and Top Secret clearances. New Zealand's security classifications and the national-harm requirements associated with their use are roughly similar to those of the United States.
In addition to national security classifications there are two additional security classifications, In Confidence and Sensitive, which are used to protect information of a policy and privacy nature. There are also a number of information markings used within ministries and departments of the government, to indicate, for example, that information should not be released outside the originating ministry.
Because of strict privacy requirements around personal information, personnel files are controlled in all parts of the public and private sectors. Information relating to the security vetting of an individual is usually classified at the In Confidence level. In Romania , classified information is referred to as "state secrets" secrete de stat and is defined by the Penal Code as "documents and data that manifestly appear to have this status or have been declared or qualified as such by decision of Government".
Dissemination of classified information to foreign agents or powers is punishable by up to life imprisonment, if such dissemination threatens Romania's national security. All classified defence documents will now have both a Swedish classification Kvalificerat hemlig or Hemlig , and an English classification Top Secret, Secret, Confidential, or Restricted. Until , the United Kingdom used five levels of classification—from lowest to highest, they were: The Cabinet Office provides guidance on how to protect information, including the security clearances required for personnel.
Staff may be required to sign to confirm their understanding and acceptance of the Official Secrets Acts to , although the Act applies regardless of signature. This system was replaced by the Government Security Classifications Policy , which has a simpler model: A variety of markings are used for material that is not classified, but whose distribution is limited administratively or by other laws, e.
The Atomic Energy Act of provides for the protection of information related to the design of nuclear weapons. The term "Restricted Data" is used to denote certain nuclear technology.
Information about the storage, use or handling of nuclear material or weapons is marked "Formerly Restricted Data". These designations are used in addition to level markings Confidential, Secret and Top Secret. Information protected by the Atomic Energy Act is protected by law and information classified under the Executive Order is protected by Executive privilege.
The charges against Ellsberg were ultimately dismissed after it was revealed that the government had broken the law in secretly breaking into the office of Ellsberg's psychiatrist and in tapping his telephone without a warrant.
Ellsberg insists that the legal situation in the U. Private corporations often require written confidentiality agreements and conduct background checks on candidates for sensitive positions. Policies dictating methods for marking and safeguarding company-sensitive information e. Such information is protected under trade secret laws. New product development teams are often sequestered and forbidden to share information about their efforts with un-cleared fellow employees, the original Apple Macintosh project being a famous example.
Other activities, such as mergers and financial report preparation generally involve similar restrictions. However, corporate security generally lacks the elaborate hierarchical clearance and sensitivity structures and the harsh criminal sanctions that give government classification systems their particular tone.
The Traffic Light Protocol   was developed by the Group of Eight countries to enable the sharing of sensitive information between government agencies and corporations. This protocol has now been accepted as a model for trusted information exchange by over 30 other countries. The protocol provides for four "information sharing levels" for the handling of sensitive information. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Top Secret disambiguation. For the video game, see Cosmic Top Secret video game.
Documents covering such work field should be classified 'secret'. Security Clearances in Canada. Classified information in Russia. Classified information in the United Kingdom.
There are three designations for "classified information" in the United States, with different security clearances assigned to each:. Top Secret , meaning that the information could cause "exceptionally grave damage" to national security. Secret , meaning that the information could cause "serious damage" to national security.
Confidential , meaning that the information could cause plain-old "damage" to national security. How was the information leaked by Edward Snowden classified? Both the court order renewing the collection of phone records and the PRISM powerpoint slides Snowden provided to the Guardian were classified as "top secret. So is it always illegal to disclose classified information?
Not always, but often: Disclosing classified information that impacts national security is a violation of the Espionage Act of , which has been used to prosecute Bradley Manning, the originator of the Wikileaks documents, and Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers exposing the lies of multiple presidential administrations during the Vietnam War.
But in the United States passed the Whistleblower Protection Act , designed shield leakers when the classified information they disclose exposes wrongdoing or illegality. However, the NSA claims that what it was doing was not illegal.
And besides, in another absurd Catch, you don't get protection if you work for the NSA. So what's the problem? If these secrets protect national security, shouldn't they stay secret? The problem is that with so many agencies and individuals empowered to place "classified" status on information, the definition of "national security" is far from settled.
Nor are the distinctions between "top secret," "secret," and "confidential" clear, the paper states: