National Security Council Intelligence Directive No. 11

Washington, January 6, 1950.


Pursuant to the provisions of Sections 101 (b) (2) and 102 (d) (3) of the National Security Act of 1947, as amended, providing that the National Security Council shall consider policy on matters of common interest to the departments and agencies of the Government concemed with national security and shall make recommendations to the President in connection therewith, and that the Director of Central Intelligence shall be responsible for protecting intelligence sources and methods from unauthorized disclosure, the National Security Council hereby authorizes and directs that:

  1. The departments and agencies of the Government engaged in intelligence activities shall take steps to prevent unauthorized disclosure of information on United States intelligence sources and methods. Each agency will determine its own channel for authorization to release any such information. The delimiting phrase "intelligence sources and methods" includes information ostensibly overt which requires security protection because of its specific means of procurement or specific place of procurement, revelation of which would endanger intelligence sources and methods, but the phrase does not include intelligence as such, the dissemination of which is already covered by appropriate departmental and agency security regulations.

  2. The Director of Central Intelligence shall coordinate policies concerning the protection of intelligence sources and methods, within the limits established by Section 102 of the National Security Act of 1947, except where provision has already been made by the National Security Council.

  3. In protecting intelligence sources and methods, the Director of Central Intelligence and the other intelligence directors shall be guided by the principle that covert or sensitive information, either unevaluated or as an intelligence product, shall go only to those whose official duties require such knowledge.

  4. In order to protect intelligence sources and methods further, any reference to the Central Intelligence Agency should emphasize its duties as the coordinator of intelligence, rather than its secret intelligence activities. No reference will be made to this agency whatsoever unless it is unavoidable, of course.

Source: Truman Library, Papers of Harry S. Truman, President's Secretary's Files, Subject File, Current Policies of the Government of the United States of America Relating to the National Security. Top Secret.