The Department of State, classifications and email systems.

What is a secret document? It is a document containing¬†national security information generated by the U.S. government and its employees and contractors, as well as information received from other governments. The desired degree of secrecy about Government information is known as its sensitivity. Sensitivity is based upon a calculation of the damage to national security that the release of the information would cause. And remember, it doesn’t have to be a complete file or book. A piece here, a picture there, a paragraph ¬†. . . and pretty soon you’ll have a pretty good idea about what is going on. “Loose lips, sink ships. -WWII

In the U.S. information is called “classified” if it has been assigned one of the three levels: Confidential, Secret, or Top Secret. An important part of the system is the “need to know.” Just because you have a Secret Clearance does’t mean you can read any Secret document. You have to demonstrate a “need to know.”

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