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Classified Information

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Ghazi-Doc.jpg
A Secret document.
"Sssshhh...I got a secret..."

General

The United Kingdom currently uses four levels of classification — from lowest to highest, they are:

Those working with such material must have the relevant security clearance and often must sign to confirm their understanding and acceptance of the Official Secrets Act. Government documents without a classification may be marked as UNCLASSIFIED. Interestingly, virtually every single unit in the British Army flouts the rules on Classified Information by routinely posting Part One Orders in plain sight on noticeboards - they are nearly always marked Restricted...

Caveats & Codewords

Descriptors

In addition, caveats can be applied over these classifications e.g:

  • STAFF
  • MANAGEMENT
  • INVESTIGATION
  • POLICY
  • BUDGETS
  • HONOURS
  • PERSONAL
  • MEDICAL
  • VISITS

Nationality caveat

Protectively marked material may bear a nationality caveat, a descriptor defining which nationality groups it may be released to. By default material in the UK is not caveated by nationality, the classification being sufficient protection.

Examples of nationality caveats include, but are not limited to:

  • UK EYES ONLY
  • CANUKUS EYES ONLY - Canadian, UK or US citizens.
  • AUSCANNZUKUS — Australia, New Zealand, Canada, UK and USA, the UKUSA Community.

In addition, it is common to refer to the nations grouped with a national descriptor as [x] Eyes where [x] equals the number of nations involved i.e. given a national descriptor of AUSCANUKUS (as used widely in Afghanistan), it would be acceptable for an indivual from within that group to refer to the document or information as 4 Eyes to another memner of the same group, especially within an operating environment staffed by other TCNs.

Codewords

Dissemination of already protectively marked material may be further limited only to those with a legitimate need to know using compartmentalisation by use of codewords. Examples of compartmented material would include information about nuclear warheads, fusion, and naval nuclear propulsion. In some case the existence of a codeworded compartment is itself classified. Specific operations may also attract a specific classification coupled to a codeword in order to restrict knowledge of a fundamental component of - or critical capability within - that operation.

Examples of codewords include, but are not limited to:

  • LOCSEN — has local sensitivity, and may not be shown to local officials.
  • NATSEN — has national sensitivity.
  • DEDIP, DESDEN — may not be shown to certain named officials.

Worldwide Security Classifications

Country Top Secret Secret Confidential Restricted
Argentina Estrictamente Secreto Secreto Confidencial Reservado
Australia Top Secret Secret Confidential Restricted
Austria Streng Geheim Geheim Verschlusssache Nur für den Dienstgebrauch
Belgium Zeer Geheim Geheim Vertrouwelijk Beperkte
Verspreiding
Bolivia Supersecreto
or Muy Secreto
Secreto Confidencial Reservado
Bosnia Strogo Povjerljivo Tanjno Konfidencialno Restiktirano
Brazil Ultra Secreto Secreto Confidencial Reservado
Bulgaria Строго секретно Секретно Поверително За служебно ползване
Cambodia Sam Ngat Bamphot Sam Ngat Roeung Art Kambang Ham Kom Psay
Canada Top Secret Secret Confidential
Chile Secreto Secreto Reservado Reservado
China Juémì (绝密) Jīmì (机密) Mìmì (秘密)  
Colombia Ultrasecreto Secreto Reservado Confidencial
Costa Rica Alto Secreto Secreto Confidencial  
Croatia Vrlo tajno Tajno Povjerljivo  
Czech Republic Přísně Tajné Tajné Důvěrné Vyhrazené
Denmark Yderst Hemmeligt Hemmeligt Fortroligt Til Tjenestebrug

Foreign Service:
Fortroligt
(thin Black border}

Ecuador Secretisimo Secreto Confidencial Reservado
Egypt Sirri Lilghayeh SirriKhas Mehoud Jidden
El Salvador Ultra Secreto Secreto Confidencial Reservado
Estonia] Täiesti salajane Salajane Konfidentsiaalne Piiratud
Ethiopia Yemiaz Birtou Mistir Mistir Kilkil  
Finland Erittäin salainen (TTL I) Salainen (TTL II) Luottamuksellinen (TTL III) Viranomaiskäyttöön (TTL IV) ¹
France Très secret défense Secret défense Confidentiel défense Diffusion restreinte
Germany Streng Geheim Geheim VS-Vertraulich VS-Nur für den
Dienstgebrauch
Greece Άκρως Απόρρητον Απόρρητον Εμπιστευτικόν Περιορισμένης
Χρήσης
Guatemala Alto Secreto Secreto Confidencial Reservado
Haiti Top Secret Secret Confidential Reserve
Honduras Super Secreto Secreto Confidencial Reservado
Hong Kong S.A.R.,
China
Top Secret, 高度機密 Secret, 機密 Confidential, 保密 Restricted, 內部文件
Hungary Szigorúan Titkos Titkos Bizalmas  
India परम गुप्त (Param Gupt) गुप्त (Gupt) गोपनीय (Gopniya) प्रतिबंधित/सीमित (Pratibandhit/seemit)
Indonesia Sangat Rahasia Rahasia Agak Rahasia Terbatas
Iran Bekoliserri به کلّى سرّى Serri سرّى Kheili Mahramaneh خيلى محرمانه Mahramaneh محرمانه
Iraq Sirri Lil-ghayah Sirri Khass Mehdoud
Iceland Algert Leyndarmál Leyndarmál Þjónustuskjal Trúnaðarmál
Ireland An-sicreideach Sicreideach Runda Srianta
Israel Sodi Beyoter
סודי ביותר
Sodi
סודי
Shamur
שמור
Mugbal
מוגבל
Italy Segretissimo Segreto Riservatissimo Riservato
Japan Kimitsu, 機密 Gokuhi, 極秘 Hi, 秘 Toriatsukaichuui, 取り扱い注意
Jordan Maktum Jiddan Maktum Sirri Mahdud
Korea, South I-Kup Bi Mil, 1급비밀 II-Kup Bi Mil, 2급비밀 III-Kup Bi Mil, 3급비밀 Dae Woi Bi, 대외비
Laos Lup Sood Gnod Kuam Lup Kuam Lap Chum Kut Kon Arn
Lebanon Tres Secret Secret Confidentiel  
Lithuania Visiškai Slaptai Slaptai Konfidencialiai Riboto Naudojimo
Malaysia Rahsia Besar Rahsia Sulit Terhad
Mexico Ultra Secreto Secreto Confidencial Restringido
Netherlands Staatsgeheim Zeer Geheim Staatsgeheim Geheim Staatsgeheim Confidentieel Departementaal Vertrouwelijk
New Zealand Top Secret Secret Confidential Restricted
Nicaragua Alto Secreto Secreto Confidencial Reservado
Norway STRENGT HEMMELIG HEMMELIG KONFIDENSIELT BEGRENSET
Pakistan Intahai Khufia Khufia Sigh-E-Raz Barai Mahdud Taqsim
Paraguay Secreto Secreto Confidencial Reservado
Peru Estrictamente Secreto Secreto Confidencial Reservado
Philippines Top Secret Secret Confidential Restricted
Poland Ściśle tajne Tajne Poufne Zastrzeżone
Portugal Muito Secreto Secreto Confidencial Reservado
Republic of Moldova De importanţă deosebită Strict Secret Secret Pentru uz de serviciu
Russia Особой важности
(вариант: Совершенно Секретно (Sovershenno Sekretno))
Совершенно секретно
(вариант: Секретно (Sekretno))
Секретно
(вариант: Не подлежит оглашению
(Конфиденциально) (Ne podlezhit oglasheniyu (Konfidentsial'no))
Для Служебного Пользования (ДСП)
(Dlya Sluzhebnogo Pol'zovaniya)
Saudi Arabia Saudi Top Secret Saudi Very Secret Saudi Secret Saudi Restricted
Singapore Top Secret Secret Confidential Restricted
Slovak Republic Prísne tajné Tajné Dôverné Vyhradené
Slovenija Strogo zaupno Zaupno Zaupno Omejeno
Spain Máximo Secreto Secreto Confidencial Difusión Limitada
Sweden Kvalificerat Hemlig (KH); Hemlig/Top Secret (H/TS) Hemlig (H); Hemlig/Secret H/S) Hemlig/Confidential (H/C) Hemlig/Restricted (H/R)
Switzerland Geheim / Secret Vertraulich / Confidentiel Dienstlich / Interne au service
Thailand Lup Tisud, ลับที่สุด Lup Maag, ลับมาก Lup,ลับ
Turkey Çok Gizli Gizli Özel Hizmete Özel
South Africa Top Secret Secret Confidential Restricted
United Kingdom TOP SECRET SECRET CONFIDENTIAL RESTRICTED
United States Top Secret Secret Confidential
Uruguay Ultra Secreto Secreto Confidencial Reservado
Vietnam Tối Mật Mật Kín Phổ Biến Hạn Chế
NATO Cosmic Top Secret NATO Secret NATO Confidential NATO Restricted