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NPR 1450.10D
Effective Date: March 24, 2006
Expiration Date: March 24, 2026
Printable Format (PDF)

Subject: NASA Correspondence Management and Communications Standards and Style Revalidated (6/21/2021)

Responsible Office: Office of the Chief of Staff

| TOC | ChangeHistory | Preface | Chapter1 | Chapter2 | Chapter3 | Chapter4 | Chapter5 | Chapter6 | Chapter7 | Chapter8 | AppendixA | AppendixB | AppendixC | AppendixD | AppendixE | AppendixF | AppendixG | AppendixH | AppendixI | AppendixJ | ALL |

Chapter 8: Classified Correspondence

8.1 General

8.1.1 In accordance with Executive Order (EO) 12958, as amended, Classified National Security Information and NPR 1600.1, Chapter 5, NASA Security Program Procedural Requirements, this chapter establishes the primary reference for preparing, marking, and handling classified correspondence and should be reviewed by all personnel dealing with classified information.

8.1.2 The Assistant Administrator (AA) for the Officer of Security and Program Protection (OSPP) is responsible for providing direction and oversight for an Agency-wide security classification management program. The Center Chief of Security (CCS) is responsible for providing guidance to individuals responsible for preparing classified information.

8.1.3 Anyone preparing classified correspondences should consult the CCS to receive authorization for preparing classified correspondences and to find out what equipment and storage containers are approved for classified processing and storage. All material and equipment used in the preparation of classified correspondences such as disk, hard drives, draft and source documents, and working papers should be marked with the appropriate classified cover page or stickers and secured in a General Services Administration (GSA)-approved security container or a designated Secure Area for the storage of classified information and material.

8.2 Security Classification Reminders

8.2.1 Preparers of classified documents should comply with the following guidelines:

a. Only individuals specifically authorized in writing by the OSPP may classify documents originally.

b. Only individuals with the appropriate security clearance required by their work to restate classified source information may classify documents derivatively.

c. There are three levels of classification, "TOP SECRET," "SECRET," and "CONFIDENTIAL." Do not use other terms, such as "Official Use Only," or "Administratively Confidential," to identify Classified National Security Information (CNSI). NASA information that is SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED (SBU) should be prepared in accordance with NPR 1600.1, Chapter 5, Information Communications, which deals with certain categories of unclassified information.

d. Information is not to be classified for any reason unrelated to the protection of the national security.

e. Classifiers are responsible for ensuring that information is appropriately classified and properly marked.

f. To have access to classified information, a person will have a security clearance at an appropriate level, a signed nondisclosure agreement, and a "need-to-know."

g. Individuals who believe that information in their possession is inappropriately classified, or inappropriately unclassified, are expected to bring their concerns to the attention of responsible officials.

h. "X1 through X8" are not approved markings for documents originally classified under EO 12958, as amended, and should not be contained in any originally classified documents on, or after, September 22, 2003.

i. "OADR" is not an approved marking for documents originally classified under j. EO 12958, as amended, and should not be contained in any originally classified documents that have been created after October 14, 1995.

8.3 Format and Marking of Originally Classified Documents

8.3.1 Except for marking requirements, prepare classified correspondence in the same format as unclassified correspondence. EO 12958, as amended, contains the essential markings required on every classified document which include:

a. Portion marking.

b. Overall classification.

c. A "Classified by" line to include the identity, by name or personal identifier, and position of the original classifier, and if otherwise not evident, the agency and office of origin.

d. A reason for classification.

e. A "Declassify on" line which shall indicate one of the following, based on the sensitivity of the information in accordance with Sec. 2001.12 of ISOO Directive No. 1:

(1) A date or event less than 10 years from the date of the document; or, if unable to identify such a date or event;

(2) A date 10 years from the date of the document; or

(3) A date greater than 10 and less than 25 years from the date of the document; or

(4) A date 25 years from the date of the document.

NOTE: Please refer to http://www.archives.gov/isoo/ "Marking Classified National Security Information Handbook May 2005" to receive detailed instructions on how to prepare classified documents and correspondence.

8.3.2 In addition to the three levels of classification, TOP SECRET, SECRET, and CONFIDENTIAL, there are certain caveats used with the classification level which subjects the information to other controls on its distribution and handling. For example, (TOP SECRET/NOFORN) marked on the document means the document is classified at the TOP SECRET level, and the information cannot be released to a Foreign National. A few of the most commonly used caveat markings are:

a. NOFORN - Restricts access from Foreign Nationals.

b. SCI - Sensitive Compartmented Information.

c. CRYPTO - Cryptographic Material, which will be handled through special channels.

d. CNWDI or N - Critical Nuclear Weapons Design Information.

e. WNINTEL - Warning Notice ? Intelligence Sources or Methods Involved.

f. COMSEC - The protection of all elements of telecommunication, encryption, transmission, emissions, and the physical security of equipment and materials in the Communication Security area.

8.4 Transmission of Classified Correspondence

8.4.1 The term "transmission" refers to any movement of classified material from one place to another. Classified material shall be transmitted either in the custody of an appropriately cleared individual, by an approved system, or by courier.

8.4.2 NPR 1600.1 provides detailed information on how classified information shall be handled within a NASA facility and outside NASA. Contact the CCS for information and assistance in preparing classified information for distribution.

8.4.3 Classified information traveling inside or outside a NASA facility shall:

a. Be covered with the appropriate coversheet (Standard Form 703, 704, or 705), with the classified material receipt (NASA Form 387) attached to the document or the inner envelope and enclosed in a single opaque inner and outer envelope as follows:

(1) The inner envelope be plainly marked on both sides with the assigned classification and addresses of both sender and addressee.

(2) The outer envelope be sealed with the address of both the sender and addressee with no identification of the classification level on the outer envelope.

8.4.4. TOP SECRET information shall only be transmitted by:

a. Defense Courier Service (DCS).

b. Department of State Courier System.

c. Appropriately cleared NASA civilian personnel specifically designated as a courier.

d. Telecommunications systems specifically approved for transmission of Top Secret material.

8.4.5 SECRET information shall be transmitted by:

a. Approved methods for Top Secret with a few exceptions (see NPR 1600.1 for details).

b. USPS registered mail within and between the 50 United States and its Territories.

c. USPS Express Mail Service may be used between NASA units and contractors within and between the 50 United States and its Territories. USPS Express Mail is authorized only when it is the most cost-effective method or when time or mission constraints require it.

d. The package shall be properly prepared for mailing.

e. The USPS Express Mail envelope shall not serve as the outer wrapper.

f. Under no circumstances shall the sender execute the "WAIVER OF SIGNATURE AND INDEMNITY" section of the USPS Express Mail label for classified material. This action can result in drop-off of a package without the receiver's signature and possible loss of control.

8.4.6 Confidential information shall be transmitted by:

a. Approved methods for Secret material transmission.

b. Registered mail recommended but can be sent USPS First Class between NASA and other U.S. Government agency locations anywhere in the U.S. and its Territories. However, the outer envelope or wrapper of such Confidential material shall be marked "FIRST CLASS" and endorsed "RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED."

NOTE: Before transmitting any classified material inside or outside a NASA facility, contact the Center Security Office or the Center Security Office Central Registry to ensure the document is appropriately accounted for before providing the information to another individual or agency.

| TOC | ChangeHistory | Preface | Chapter1 | Chapter2 | Chapter3 | Chapter4 | Chapter5 | Chapter6 | Chapter7 | Chapter8 | AppendixA | AppendixB | AppendixC | AppendixD | AppendixE | AppendixF | AppendixG | AppendixH | AppendixI | AppendixJ | ALL |
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