Top Secret or Confidential information here | Eastern North Carolina Now


   When you send something to someone in an email that is confidential, how do you tell them it is confidential?  Most of the time in my work life there was disclaimer included at the bottom of all emails on the company server indicating that the communication was private or confidential.  After the disclaimer was a code which indicates the recipient. Since most people don't bother to read or review the disclaimer it could be used to track the original recipient.  It was assumed that any internal emails would contain sensitive information not to be distributed outside the organization. 

   Now I have included a standard footer to my personal emails to indicate that the information is private or confidential. It ask that it not be forwarded. I admit that I just recently added the (C) based on current events.


(C)(C) This email is confidential and solely for the addressee above, do not forward or copy and paste. If you received this email through error, please and notify sender and then delete. (C)(C)

   After doing some very basic research I found that the US government has a standard format as well for confidential information.  I found it interesting that this information appeared on Wikipedia in full format with a detailed explanation on the general system.  I suspect that it is included in every briefing for government employees who are granted any security clearance.

   The former decision is original classification. A great majority of classified documents are created by derivative classification. For example, if one piece of information, taken from a secret document, is put into a document along with 100 pages of unclassified information, the document, as a whole, will be secret. Proper (but often ignored) rules stipulate that every paragraph will bear a classification marking of (U) for Unclassified, (C) for Confidential, (S) for Secret, and (TS) for Top Secret. Therefore, in this example, only one paragraph will have the (S) marking. If the page containing that paragraph is double-sided, the page should be marked SECRET on top and bottom of both sides.  Wiki Link Extract



   I have a friend who was a teletype operator in the Navy during the 1960's.  He says there was a standard code included in every communication that was restricted. He did not remember it but told me it was included before and after every transmission of sensitive information and he could probably repeat it if he were typing on a keyboard as it was no doubt embedded in his muscle memory. He thinks it may be TS in Morse code which is before and after the section. dash dot dot dot

- …

   The FBI has a complex system of markings that identify various conditions of the document. Here is a n article about FBI markings. But the whole system is based on the understanding that anyone who has proper security clearance has the 'COMMON SENSE" to know what is classified and what is not. If in doubt, consider it classified.

   Anyone who was in business prior to the computer will remember the big rotating carousel of stamps that served as reminders to a document's status.  During my brief military service, I saw several rubber stamp and ink pad notations that were used to indicate the security level of documents.  Later I ordered my own stamp to indicate the importance of any information that came across my desk. I have overused the stamp until it has become almost unreadable, but you may be able to get the general idea.   I also had a stamp to indicate my disdain for the contents of many of the documents that came across my desk but I can not show it here.  You may have seen its real life equivalent in rush hour traffic.  It only requires one hand and get the point across better than any expletives.


   I had a thriving business in stamps here on BCN before we wore out our favorite  Liberal whipping boy. I have some residual guilt about that.  

   The only thing that could be considered as somewhat confidential in this article is the stamp which has been redacted because it is offensive. Here is a hint: it starts wit B and ends with IT The whole point is that it is not the markings that is important, it is the content. Even I know when something is so sensitive that it should be redacted.


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