Security Classification Law and Legal Definition

Government documents, files and records are assigned a security level on the basis of sensitivity and secrecy of information. A security level is assigned national security information to denote the degree of damage that unauthorized disclosure would cause to national defense, foreign relations of the U.S. and to denote the degree of protection required.

In military, three levels are assigned to national security information. First is top secret. Matters requiring the highest degree of protection and the unauthorized disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to national security come under this category. For example: armed hostilities against the U S or its allies. The second level is secret. Matters requiring a substantial degree of protection and the unauthorized disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to cause serious damage to national security come under this category. For example: policy directly related to the national security. The third level is confidential. Matters the unauthorized disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to cause damage to the national security come under this category.