U.S. Army intelligence (G2) has developed a new methodology (pdf) for applying national security classification controls and for training personnel in the proper use of classification restrictions.
Failure to classify correctly has consequences, a tutorial on the new approach points out.
“Over-classification is costly, inefficient and can cause slow downs to development/operation. Under-classification can cause compromise, inadvertent disclosures and confusion.”
But getting it right is easier said than done, because it involves the conscious exercise of informed judgment.
“The descriptors used in addressing damage at the confidential (damage), secret (serious damage) or top secret (exceptionally grave damage) levels are subjective.”
The new Army methodology “provides a standardized method of making an objective decision about a subjective issue,” wrote Lt. Gen. John F. Kimmons, U.S. Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, in a cover memorandum.
See “Standardized Methodology for Making Classification Decisions,” Office of the Army Deputy Chief of Staff, G-2, October 25, 2006.