For the most part, individual federal agencies decide whether to classify or declassify information they create. They do so on the basis of Exec. Order No. 13,526, 75 Fed. Reg. 707 (Dec. 29, 2009) and guidance issued by the Information Security Oversight Office of the National Archives and Records Administration (ISOO). Appeals of classification decisions are decided by the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel.
- Information classification and safeguarding: 50 U.S.C. §§ 3161-64 (Westlaw) (Lexis)
- Exec. Order No. 13,526, 75 Fed. Reg. 707 (Dec. 29, 2009) (prescribing a uniform system for classifying, safeguarding, and declassifying national security information).
- Exec. Order No. 12,829, 58 Fed. Reg. 3,479 (Jan. 6, 1993) (as amended by Exec. Order No. 12,885, 58 Fed. Reg. 65,863 (Dec. 14, 1993), and Exec. Order No. 13,691, 80 Fed. Reg. 9,349 (Feb. 13, 2015)) (establishes a National Industrial Security Program to safeguard Federal Government classified information that is released to contractors, licensees, and grantees of the United States Government).
- Exec. Order No. 13,549, 75 Fed. Reg. 51,609 (Aug. 18, 2010) (establishing a classified national security information program for state, local, tribal, and private sector entities).
- Exec. Order No. 13,556, 75 Fed. Reg. 68,675 (Nov. 4, 2010) (establishing an open and uniform program for managing information that requires safeguarding or dissemination controls).
- Exec. Order No. 13,587, 76 Fed. Reg. 63,811 (Oct. 7, 2011) (structural reforms to improve security of classified networks and the responsible sharing and safeguarding of classified information).
- ISOO Regulations: 32 C.F.R. pt. 2001 (Westlaw) (Lexis)
- ISOO Annual Reports to the President
Statutes Related to Classified Information
- 50 U.S.C. §§ 3161-64 (Westlaw) (Lexis) (providing the procedural outlines for the classification of information and the safeguarding of classified information).
- 42 U.S.C. §§ 2161-2169 (Westlaw) (Lexis) (prescribe procedures for the classification and safeguarding of information related to nuclear weapons and atomic energy).
- 18 U.S.C. § 798 (Westlaw) (Lexis) (criminalizing the communication of classified information to an unauthorized person).
- Freedom of Information Act of 1966 (FOIA), Pub. L. 89-554, 80 Stat. 383, codified as amended at 5 U.S.C. § 552 (Westlaw) (Lexis) (permitting nondisclosure of government information that is "(A) specifically authorized under criteria established by an Executive order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy and (B) are in fact properly classified pursuant to such Executive order." 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(1)).
Declassified Documents Databases