White House Press Release
CLASSIFIED NATIONAL SECURITY INFORMATION
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
|For Immediate Release
April 17, 1995
EXECUTIVE ORDER #12958
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Sec. 4.1. Definitions
Sec. 4.2. General Restrictions on Access
Sec. 4.3. Distribution Controls
Sec. 4.4. Special Access Programs
Sec. 4.5. Access by Historical Researchers and
Former Presidential Appointees
PART 4 SAFEGUARDING
Sec. 4.1. Definitions. For purposes of this
(a) "Safeguarding" means measures and controls that are prescribed
to protect classified information.
(b) "Access" means the ability or opportunity to gain knowledge
of classified information.
(c) "Need-to-know" means a determination made by an authorized
holder of classified information that a prospective recipient requires
access to specific classified information in order to perform or assist
in a lawful and authorized governmental function.
(d) "Automated information system" means an assembly of computer
hardware, software, or firmware configured to collect, create, communicate,
compute, disseminate, process, store, or control data or information.
(e) "Integrity" means the state that exists when information
is unchanged from its source and has not been accidentally or intentionally
modified, altered, or destroyed.
(f) "Network" means a system of two or more computers that
can exchange data or information.
(g) "Telecommunications" means the preparation, transmission,
or communication of information by electronic means.
(h) "Special access program" means a program
established for a specific class of classified information that imposes
safeguarding and access requirements that exceed those normally required
for information at the same classification level.
Sec. 4.2. General Restrictions on Access.
(a) A person may have access to classified information provided that:
(1) a favorable determination of eligibility for access
has been made by an agency head or the agency head's designee;
(2) the person has signed an approved nondisclosure
(3) the person has a need-to-know the information.
(b) Classified information shall remain under the control of the originating
agency or its successor in function. An agency shall not disclose information
originally classified by another agency without its authorization. An
official or employee leaving agency service may not remove classified
information from the agency's control.
(c) Classified information may not be removed from official premises
without proper authorization.
(d) Persons authorized to disseminate classified information outside
the executive branch shall assure the protection of the information
in a manner equivalent to that provided within the executive branch.
(e) Consistent with law, directives, and regulation, an agency head
or senior agency official shall establish uniform procedures to ensure
that automated information systems, including networks and telecommunications
systems, that collect, create, communicate, compute, disseminate, process,
or store classified information have controls that:
(1) prevent access by unauthorized persons; and
(2) ensure the integrity of the information.
(f) Consistent with law, directives, and regulation, each agency head
or senior agency official shall establish controls to ensure that classified
information is used, processed, stored, reproduced, transmitted, and
destroyed under conditions that provide adequate protection and prevent
access by unauthorized persons.
(g) Consistent with directives issued pursuant to this order, an agency
shall safeguard foreign government information under standards that
provide a degree of protection at least equivalent to that required
by the government or international organization of governments that
furnished the information. When adequate to achieve equivalency, these
standards may be less restrictive than the safeguarding standards that
ordinarily apply to United States "Confidential" information,
including allowing access to individuals with a need-to-know who have
not otherwise been cleared for access to classified information or executed
an approved nondisclosure agreement.
(h) Except as provided by statute or directives issued pursuant to
this order, classified information originating in one agency may not
be disseminated outside any other agency to which it has been made available
without the consent of the originating agency. An agency head or senior
agency official may waive this requirement for specific information
originated within that agency. For purposes of this section, the Department
of Defense shall be considered one agency.
Sec. 4.3. Distribution Controls.
(a) Each agency shall establish controls over the distribution of classified
information to assure that it is distributed only to organizations or
individuals eligible for access who also have a need-to-know the information.
(b) Each agency shall update, at least annually, the automatic, routine,
or recurring distribution of classified information that they distribute.
Recipients shall cooperate fully with distributors who are updating
distribution lists and shall notify distributors whenever a relevant
change in status occurs.
Sec. 4.4. Special Access Programs.
(a) Establishment of special access programs. Unless otherwise authorized
by the President, only the Secretaries of State, Defense and Energy,
and the Director of Central Intelligence, or the principal deputy of
each, may create a special access program. For special access programs
pertaining to intelligence activities (including special activities,
but not including military operational, strategic and tactical programs),
or intelligence sources or methods, this function will be exercised
by the Director of Central Intelligence. These officials shall keep
the number of these programs at an absolute minimum, and shall establish
them only upon a specific finding that:
(1) the vulnerability of, or threat to, specific information
is exceptional; and
(2) the normal criteria for determining eligibility
for access applicable to information classified at the same level are
not deemed sufficient to protect the information from unauthorized disclosure;
(3) the program is required by statute.
(b) Requirements and Limitations.
(1) Special access programs shall be limited to programs
in which the number of persons who will have access ordinarily will
be reasonably small and commensurate with the objective of providing
enhanced protection for the information involved.
(2) Each agency head shall establish and maintain a
system of accounting for special access programs consistent with directives
issued pursuant to this order.
(3) Special access programs shall be subject to the
oversight program established under section 5.6(c) of this order. In
addition, the Director of the Information Security Oversight Office
shall be afforded access to these programs, in accordance with the security
requirements of each program, in order to perform the functions assigned
to the Information Security Oversight Office under this order. An agency
head may limit access to a special access program to the Director and
no more than one other employee of the Information Security Oversight
Office; or, for special access programs that are extraordinarily sensitive
and vulnerable, to the Director only.
(4) The agency head or principal deputy shall review
annually each special access program to determine whether it continues
to meet the requirements of this order.
(5) Upon request, an agency shall brief the Assistant
to the President for National Security Affairs, or his or her designee,
on any or all of the agency's special access programs.
(c) Within 180 days after the effective date of this order, each agency
head or principal deputy shall review all existing special access programs
under the agency's jurisdiction. These officials shall terminate any
special access programs that do not clearly meet the provisions of this
order. Each existing special access program that an agency head or principal
deputy validates shall be treated as if it were established on the effective
date of this order.
(d) Nothing in this order shall supersede any requirement made by or
under 10 U.S.C. 119.
Sec. 4.5. Access by Historical Researchers and
Former Presidential Appointees.
(a) The requirement in section 4.2(a)(3) of this order that access
to classified information may be granted only to individuals who have
a need-to-know the information may be waived for persons who:
(1) are engaged in historical research projects; or
(2) previously have occupied policy-making positions
to which they were appointed by the President.
(b) Waivers under this section may be granted only if the agency head
or senior agency official of the originating agency:
(1) determines in writing that access is consistent
with the interest of national security;
(2) takes appropriate steps to protect classified information
from unauthorized disclosure or compromise, and ensures that the information
is safeguarded in a manner consistent with this order; and
(3) limits the access granted to former Presidential
appointees to items that the person originated, reviewed, signed, or
received while serving as a Presidential appointee.