what does classified information mean

Procedures for declassification of materials are complicated. At the top secret level, some information is “compartmented.” That means only certain people who have a top secret security clearance may view it. Information remains classified unless and until it is formally declassified.

As noted above, CIPA is essentially procedural. This notice must be particularized and applies to whatever classified information that “a defendant reasonably expects to disclose or to cause the disclosure of . Harry Graver is a second-year student at Harvard Law School and a graduate of Yale University.

The court rejected a motion by the defense to attend the proceedings for the same reasons as noted above. CIPA Controversies and Current Application. Birmingham, What just happened: an intimate look at the 2020 US election

As such, defense attorneys are generally required to obtain security clearances before they can participate in at least certain elements of a defense. Before coming to academia, I worked for many years as an analyst at both the State Department and the Department of Defense. Second, the privilege’s absolute nature conflicts with the balancing approach inherent within CIPA Sections 4 and 6. Authority to take certain pieces of information, say the existence of a weapons program, and classify it top secret is given only to specific individuals. I held a top secret clearance, frequently worked with classified information and participated in classified meetings.

A former colleague of mine who was a retired CIA analyst used to tell his students he would never knowingly, but almost certainly would inadvertently, share a tidbit of classified information in the classroom. The originator must determine whether information being generated is official information (intended for use as an official record) and whether that information is sensitive or security classified.. Requirement 2.

This interpretation is grounded in the understanding that the statute “has its origins in the state secrets privilege.” This common law evidentiary privilege allows the head of a relevant government agency to prevent discovery of certain information in civil trials by showing a “reasonable danger” that disclosure will impair national security. CIPA has not been without controversy. CIPA is a critical law for national security prosecutions: It establishes a number of key procedures that facilitate a balance between the fundamental rights of defendants in criminal trials and the government’s interests in keeping classified information out of the wrong hands. You must safeguard this information at all times to prevent loss or compromise and unauthorized disclosure, dissemination, or duplication. Section 4 allows the government, “upon a sufficient showing,” to either delete certain classified items from a discovery request or, if disclosure is required, provide adequate unclassified summaries or substitutions.

USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. Provided the restriction was adequately tailored, the court determined that the risk of a “disastrous security breach” outweighed an absolute line of communication between a defendant and his attorneys. N/A, Oxfordshire, City-zenship: What does a Brummie education look like? For an overview of the entire statute, see this DOJ memorandum summarizing CIPA. Which States Support the 'Unwilling and Unable' Test? There are bound to be complications and revelations – accidental or otherwise. By way of example, two recent CIPA cases from this summer demonstrate these competing schools of thought and how they manifest in ongoing criminal prosecutions. Sharing classified information knowingly, or revealing information one should know is sensitive, is a different matter. Section 3 requires a court, upon the government’s request, to issue a protective order “against the disclosure of any classified information disclosed by the United States to any defendant in any criminal case.” Notably, such order applies to defense attorneys who need to receive a security clearance to access covered information, as well as to some defendants. If a court determines that the information is not both relevant and helpful to the defense—as it did in Mohammad—it may delete the discovery request or permit substitutions, as appropriate, under CIPA.

Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, President George W. Bush said the following in relation to guarding classified information: In Yunis, the court analogized CIPA to the informant’s privilege (the ability of the government to withhold the identity of an informant from a criminal defendant developed in Roviaro v. United States) and grafted its balancing approach onto the statute, where the information’s value to the defense is weighed against the government interest at stake.

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