Controlled Unclassified Information

A Presidential report on recommendations on controlled unclassified information recently came out and, as it’s been one of my favorite rants I thought it worthwhile to take a look.

First, I have to admit I was shocked to discover there are (at least) 117 different ways to mark documents ‘sensitive but unclassified’.  Yikes!  If ever there was a need for simplification this was it.

Oh…and as an aside.  It’s my impression that ‘law enforcement sensitive’ is a federal designation, meaning that only federal agencies have the authority to mark their information in such a way.  Yet, be rest assured, there are lots of state and local agencies throwing that label on stuff as fast they can.  I’m not positive of that and I certainly could be wrong but I haven’t seen anything official which would allow non-federal agencies to use such a caveat at will.

It’s kind of like if you started labeling all your paperwork ‘Top Secret’ and then expected everyone to treat it as such.

The report does adequately describe the problem (although remember, it only applies to federal agencies…there’s no one looking at other agencies.  They recommend:

A simple, concise, and standardized CUI Framework, with effective centralized governance and oversight has the best chance of both wide acceptance within the federal government and broad adoption throughout our State, local, tribal, and private sector partner communities

Amen to that!


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