EXECUTIVE
ORDER
EO 13292
Effective Date: March 28, 2003

Responsible Office: Office of Security Management and Safeguards
Subject: Further Amendment to EO 12958, as Amended, Classified National Security Information

 Executive Order 13292 of March 25, 2003

 
                Further Amendment to Executive Order 12958, as 
                Amended, Classified National Security Information

                By the authority vested in me as President by the 
                Constitution and the laws of the United States of 
                America, and in order to further amend Executive Order 
                12958, as amended, it is hereby ordered that Executive 
                Order 12958 is amended to read as follows:

                ``Classified National Security Information

                This order prescribes a uniform system for classifying, 
                safeguarding, and declassifying national security 
                information, including information relating to defense 
                against transnational terrorism. Our democratic 
                principles require that the American people be informed 
                of the activities of their Government. Also, our 
                Nation's progress depends on the free flow of 
                information. Nevertheless, throughout our history, the 
                national defense has required that certain information 
                be maintained in confidence in order to protect our 
                citizens, our democratic institutions, our homeland 
                security, and our interactions with foreign nations. 
                Protecting information critical to our Nation's 
                security remains a priority.

                NOW, THEREFORE, by the authority vested in me as 
                President by the Constitution and the laws of the 
                United States of America, it is hereby ordered as 
                follows:

                PART 1--ORIGINAL CLASSIFICATION

                Sec. 1.1. Classification Standards. (a) Information may 
                be originally classified under the terms of this order 
                only if all of the following conditions are met:

(1) an original classification authority is classifying the information;

(2) the information is owned by, produced by or for, or is under the 
control of the United States Government;

(3) the information falls within one or more of the categories of 
information listed in section 1.4 of this order; and

(4) the original classification authority determines that the unauthorized 
disclosure of the information reasonably could be expected to result in 
damage to the national security, which includes defense against 
transnational terrorism, and the original classification authority is able 
to identify or describe the damage.

                    (b) Classified information shall not be 
                declassified automatically as a result of any 
                unauthorized disclosure of identical or similar 
                information.
                    (c) The unauthorized disclosure of foreign 
                government information is presumed to cause damage to 
                the national security.

                Sec. 1.2. Classification Levels. (a) Information may be 
                classified at one of the following three levels:

(1) ``Top Secret'' shall be applied to information, the unauthorized 
disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause exceptionally 
grave damage to the national security that the original classification 
authority is able to identify or describe.

(2) ``Secret'' shall be applied to information, the unauthorized disclosure 
of which reasonably could be expected to cause serious damage to the

[[Page 15316]]

national security that the original classification authority is able to 
identify or describe.

(3) ``Confidential'' shall be applied to information, the unauthorized 
disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause damage to the 
national security that the original classification authority is able to 
identify or describe.

                    (b) Except as otherwise provided by statute, no 
                other terms shall be used to identify United States 
                classified information.

                Sec. 1.3. Classification Authority. (a) The authority 
                to classify information originally may be exercised 
                only by:

(1) the President and, in the performance of executive duties, the Vice 
President;

(2) agency heads and officials designated by the President in the Federal 
Register; and

(3) United States Government officials delegated this authority pursuant to 
paragraph (c) of this section.

                    (b) Officials authorized to classify information at 
                a specified level are also authorized to classify 
                information at a lower level.
                    (c) Delegation of original classification 
                authority.

(1) Delegations of original classification authority shall be limited to 
the minimum required to administer this order. Agency heads are responsible 
for ensuring that designated subordinate officials have a demonstrable and 
continuing need to exercise this authority.

(2) ``Top Secret'' original classification authority may be delegated only 
by the President; in the performance of executive duties, the Vice 
President; or an agency head or official designated pursuant to paragraph 
(a)(2) of this section.

(3) ``Secret'' or ``Confidential'' original classification authority may be 
delegated only by the President; in the performance of executive duties, 
the Vice President; or an agency head or official designated pursuant to 
paragraph (a)(2) of this section; or the senior agency official described 
in section 5.4(d) of this order, provided that official has been delegated 
``Top Secret'' original classification authority by the agency head.

(4) Each delegation of original classification authority shall be in 
writing and the authority shall not be redelegated except as provided in 
this order. Each delegation shall identify the official by name or position 
title.

                    (d) Original classification authorities must 
                receive training in original classification as provided 
                in this order and its implementing directives. Such 
                training must include instruction on the proper 
                safeguarding of classified information and of the 
                criminal, civil, and administrative sanctions that may 
                be brought against an individual who fails to protect 
                classified information from unauthorized disclosure.
                    (e) Exceptional cases. When an employee, government 
                contractor, licensee, certificate holder, or grantee of 
                an agency who does not have original classification 
                authority originates information believed by that 
                person to require classification, the information shall 
                be protected in a manner consistent with this order and 
                its implementing directives. The information shall be 
                transmitted promptly as provided under this order or 
                its implementing directives to the agency that has 
                appropriate subject matter interest and classification 
                authority with respect to this information. That agency 
                shall decide within 30 days whether to classify this 
                information. If it is not clear which agency has 
                classification responsibility for this information, it 
                shall be sent to the Director of the Information 
                Security Oversight Office. The Director shall determine 
                the agency having primary subject matter interest and 
                forward the information, with appropriate 
                recommendations, to that agency for a classification 
                determination.

[[Page 15317]]

                Sec. 1.4. Classification Categories. Information shall 
                not be considered for classification unless it 
                concerns:

                    (a) military plans, weapons systems, or operations;
                    (b) foreign government information;
                    (c) intelligence activities (including special 
                activities), intelligence sources or methods, or 
                cryptology;
                    (d) foreign relations or foreign activities of the 
                United States, including confidential sources;
                    (e) scientific, technological, or economic matters 
                relating to the national security, which includes 
                defense against transnational terrorism;
                    (f) United States Government programs for 
                safeguarding nuclear materials or facilities;
                    (g) vulnerabilities or capabilities of systems, 
                installations, infrastructures, projects, plans, or 
                protection services relating to the national security, 
                which includes defense against transnational terrorism; 
                or
                    (h) weapons of mass destruction.

                Sec. 1.5. Duration of Classification. (a) At the time 
                of original classification, the original classification 
                authority shall attempt to establish a specific date or 
                event for declassification based upon the duration of 
                the national security sensitivity of the information. 
                Upon reaching the date or event, the information shall 
                be automatically declassified. The date or event shall 
                not exceed the time frame established in paragraph (b) 
                of this section.

                    (b) If the original classification authority cannot 
                determine an earlier specific date or event for 
                declassification, information shall be marked for 
                declassification 10 years from the date of the original 
                decision, unless the original classification authority 
                otherwise determines that the sensitivity of the 
                information requires that it shall be marked for 
                declassification for up to 25 years from the date of 
                the original decision. All information classified under 
                this section shall be subject to section 3.3 of this 
                order if it is contained in records of permanent 
                historical value under title 44, United States Code.
                    (c) An original classification authority may extend 
                the duration of classification, change the level of 
                classification, or reclassify specific information only 
                when the standards and procedures for classifying 
                information under this order are followed.
                    (d) Information marked for an indefinite duration 
                of classification under predecessor orders, for 
                example, marked as ``Originating Agency's Determination 
                Required,'' or information classified under predecessor 
                orders that contains no declassification instructions 
                shall be declassified in accordance with part 3 of this 
                order.

                Sec. 1.6. Identification and Markings. (a) At the time 
                of original classification, the following shall appear 
                on the face of each classified document, or shall be 
                applied to other classified media in an appropriate 
                manner:

(1) one of the three classification levels defined in section 1.2 of this 
order;

(2) the identity, by name or personal identifier and position, of the 
original classification authority;

(3) the agency and office of origin, if not otherwise evident;

(4) declassification instructions, which shall indicate one of the 
following:

(A)

 the date or event for declassification, as prescribed in section 1.5(a) or 
section 1.5(c);

(B)

 the date that is 10 years from the date of original classification, as 
prescribed in section 1.5(b); or

(C)

 the date that is up to 25 years from the date of original classification, 
as prescribed in section 1.5 (b); and

(5) a concise reason for classification that, at a minimum, cites the 
applicable classification categories in section 1.4 of this order.

[[Page 15318]]

                    (b) Specific information described in paragraph (a) 
                of this section may be excluded if it would reveal 
                additional classified information.
                    (c) With respect to each classified document, the 
                agency originating the document shall, by marking or 
                other means, indicate which portions are classified, 
                with the applicable classification level, and which 
                portions are unclassified. In accordance with standards 
                prescribed in directives issued under this order, the 
                Director of the Information Security Oversight Office 
                may grant waivers of this requirement. The Director 
                shall revoke any waiver upon a finding of abuse.
                    (d) Markings implementing the provisions of this 
                order, including abbreviations and requirements to 
                safeguard classified working papers, shall conform to 
                the standards prescribed in implementing directives 
                issued pursuant to this order.
                    (e) Foreign government information shall retain its 
                original classification markings or shall be assigned a 
                U.S. classification that provides a degree of 
                protection at least equivalent to that required by the 
                entity that furnished the information. Foreign 
                government information retaining its original 
                classification markings need not be assigned a U.S. 
                classification marking provided that the responsible 
                agency determines that the foreign government markings 
                are adequate to meet the purposes served by U.S. 
                classification markings.
                    (f) Information assigned a level of classification 
                under this or predecessor orders shall be considered as 
                classified at that level of classification despite the 
                omission of other required markings. Whenever such 
                information is used in the derivative classification 
                process or is reviewed for possible declassification, 
                holders of such information shall coordinate with an 
                appropriate classification authority for the 
                application of omitted markings.
                    (g) The classification authority shall, whenever 
                practicable, use a classified addendum whenever 
                classified information constitutes a small portion of 
                an otherwise unclassified document.
                    (h) Prior to public release, all declassified 
                records shall be appropriately marked to reflect their 
                declassification.

                Sec. 1.7. Classification Prohibitions and Limitations.

                    (a) In no case shall information be classified in 
                order to:

(1) conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error;

(2) prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency;

(3) restrain competition; or

(4) prevent or delay the release of information that does not require 
protection in the interest of the national security.

                    (b) Basic scientific research information not 
                clearly related to the national security shall not be 
                classified.
                    (c) Information may be reclassified after 
                declassification and release to the public under proper 
                authority only in accordance with the following 
                conditions:

(1) the reclassification action is taken under the personal authority of 
the agency head or deputy agency head, who determines in writing that the 
reclassification of the information is necessary in the interest of the 
national security;

(2) the information may be reasonably recovered; and

(3) the reclassification action is reported promptly to the Director of the 
Information Security Oversight Office.

                    (d) Information that has not previously been 
                disclosed to the public under proper authority may be 
                classified or reclassified after an agency has received 
                a request for it under the Freedom of Information Act 
                (5 U.S.C. 552) or the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 
                552a), or the mandatory review provisions of section 
                3.5 of this order only if such classification meets the 
                requirements of this order and is accomplished on a 
                document-by-document basis with

[[Page 15319]]

                the personal participation or under the direction of 
                the agency head, the deputy agency head, or the senior 
                agency official designated under section 5.4 of this 
                order.
                    (e) Compilations of items of information that are 
                individually unclassified may be classified if the 
                compiled information reveals an additional association 
                or relationship that: (1) meets the standards for 
                classification under this order; and (2) is not 
                otherwise revealed in the individual items of 
                information. As used in this order, ``compilation'' 
                means an aggregation of pre-existing unclassified items 
                of information.

                Sec. 1.8. Classification Challenges. (a) Authorized 
                holders of information who, in good faith, believe that 
                its classification status is improper are encouraged 
                and expected to challenge the classification status of 
                the information in accordance with agency procedures 
                established under paragraph (b) of this section.

                    (b) In accordance with implementing directives 
                issued pursuant to this order, an agency head or senior 
                agency official shall establish procedures under which 
                authorized holders of information are encouraged and 
                expected to challenge the classification of information 
                that they believe is improperly classified or 
                unclassified. These procedures shall ensure that:

(1) individuals are not subject to retribution for bringing such actions;

(2) an opportunity is provided for review by an impartial official or 
panel; and

(3) individuals are advised of their right to appeal agency decisions to 
the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (Panel) established 
by section 5.3 of this order.

                PART 2--DERIVATIVE CLASSIFICATION

                Sec. 2.1. Use of Derivative Classification. (a) Persons 
                who only reproduce, extract, or summarize classified 
                information, or who only apply classification markings 
                derived from source material or as directed by a 
                classification guide, need not possess original 
                classification authority.

                    (b) Persons who apply derivative classification 
                markings shall:

(1) observe and respect original classification decisions; and

(2) carry forward to any newly created documents the pertinent 
classification markings. For information derivatively classified based on 
multiple sources, the derivative classifier shall carry forward:

(A)

 the date or event for declassification that corresponds to the longest 
period of classification among the sources; and

(B)

 a listing of these sources on or attached to the official file or record 
copy.

                Sec. 2.2. Classification Guides. (a) Agencies with 
                original classification authority shall prepare 
                classification guides to facilitate the proper and 
                uniform derivative classification of information. These 
                guides shall conform to standards contained in 
                directives issued under this order.

                    (b) Each guide shall be approved personally and in 
                writing by an official who:

(1) has program or supervisory responsibility over the information or is 
the senior agency official; and

(2) is authorized to classify information originally at the highest level 
of classification prescribed in the guide.

                    (c) Agencies shall establish procedures to ensure 
                that classification guides are reviewed and updated as 
                provided in directives issued under this order.

                PART 3--DECLASSIFICATION AND DOWNGRADING

                Sec. 3.1. Authority for Declassification. (a) 
                Information shall be declassified as soon as it no 
                longer meets the standards for classification under 
                this order.

[[Page 15320]]

                    (b) It is presumed that information that continues 
                to meet the classification requirements under this 
                order requires continued protection. In some 
                exceptional cases, however, the need to protect such 
                information may be outweighed by the public interest in 
                disclosure of the information, and in these cases the 
                information should be declassified. When such questions 
                arise, they shall be referred to the agency head or the 
                senior agency official. That official will determine, 
                as an exercise of discretion, whether the public 
                interest in disclosure outweighs the damage to the 
                national security that might reasonably be expected 
                from disclosure. This provision does not:

(1) amplify or modify the substantive criteria or procedures for 
classification; or

(2) create any substantive or procedural rights subject to judicial review.

                    (c) If the Director of the Information Security 
                Oversight Office determines that information is 
                classified in violation of this order, the Director may 
                require the information to be declassified by the 
                agency that originated the classification. Any such 
                decision by the Director may be appealed to the 
                President through the Assistant to the President for 
                National Security Affairs. The information shall remain 
                classified pending a prompt decision on the appeal.
                    (d) The provisions of this section shall also apply 
                to agencies that, under the terms of this order, do not 
                have original classification authority, but had such 
                authority under predecessor orders.

                Sec. 3.2. Transferred Records. (a) In the case of 
                classified records transferred in conjunction with a 
                transfer of functions, and not merely for storage 
                purposes, the receiving agency shall be deemed to be 
                the originating agency for purposes of this order.

                    (b) In the case of classified records that are not 
                officially transferred as described in paragraph (a) of 
                this section, but that originated in an agency that has 
                ceased to exist and for which there is no successor 
                agency, each agency in possession of such records shall 
                be deemed to be the originating agency for purposes of 
                this order. Such records may be declassified or 
                downgraded by the agency in possession after 
                consultation with any other agency that has an interest 
                in the subject matter of the records.
                    (c) Classified records accessioned into the 
                National Archives and Records Administration (National 
                Archives) as of the effective date of this order shall 
                be declassified or downgraded by the Archivist of the 
                United States (Archivist) in accordance with this 
                order, the directives issued pursuant to this order, 
                agency declassification guides, and any existing 
                procedural agreement between the Archivist and the 
                relevant agency head.
                    (d) The originating agency shall take all 
                reasonable steps to declassify classified information 
                contained in records determined to have permanent 
                historical value before they are accessioned into the 
                National Archives. However, the Archivist may require 
                that classified records be accessioned into the 
                National Archives when necessary to comply with the 
                provisions of the Federal Records Act. This provision 
                does not apply to records being transferred to the 
                Archivist pursuant to section 2203 of title 44, United 
                States Code, or records for which the National Archives 
                serves as the custodian of the records of an agency or 
                organization that has gone out of existence.
                    (e) To the extent practicable, agencies shall adopt 
                a system of records management that will facilitate the 
                public release of documents at the time such documents 
                are declassified pursuant to the provisions for 
                automatic declassification in section 3.3 of this 
                order.

                Sec. 3.3. Automatic Declassification. (a) Subject to 
                paragraphs (b)-(e) of this section, on December 31, 
                2006, all classified records that (1) are more than 25 
                years old and (2) have been determined to have 
                permanent historical value under title 44, United 
                States Code, shall be automatically declassified 
                whether or not the records have been reviewed. 
                Subsequently, all classified records shall be 
                automatically declassified on December 31 of the year

[[Page 15321]]

                that is 25 years from the date of its original 
                classification, except as provided in paragraphs (b)-
                (e) of this section.

                    (b) An agency head may exempt from automatic 
                declassification under paragraph (a) of this section 
                specific information, the release of which could be 
                expected to:

(1) reveal the identity of a confidential human source, or a human 
intelligence source, or reveal information about the application of an 
intelligence source or method;

(2) reveal information that would assist in the development or use of 
weapons of mass destruction;

(3) reveal information that would impair U.S. cryptologic systems or 
activities;

(4) reveal information that would impair the application of state of the 
art technology within a U.S. weapon system;

(5) reveal actual U.S. military war plans that remain in effect;

(6) reveal information, including foreign government information, that 
would seriously and demonstrably impair relations between the United States 
and a foreign government, or seriously and demonstrably undermine ongoing 
diplomatic activities of the United States;

(7) reveal information that would clearly and demonstrably impair the 
current ability of United States Government officials to protect the 
President, Vice President, and other protectees for whom protection 
services, in the interest of the national security, are authorized;

(8) reveal information that would seriously and demonstrably impair current 
national security emergency preparedness plans or reveal current 
vulnerabilities of systems, installations, infrastructures, or projects 
relating to the national security; or

(9) violate a statute, treaty, or international agreement.

                    (c) An agency head shall notify the President 
                through the Assistant to the President for National 
                Security Affairs of any specific file series of records 
                for which a review or assessment has determined that 
                the information within that file series almost 
             
		

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