The U.S. government has a three-tier classification system to protect information that could compromise national security if leaked.
A Florida federal judge who issued a search warrant for former U.S. President Donald Trump’s residence on Aug.
12 ordered documents and an inventory of what was seized when FBI agents searched Trump’s home on Aug. 8.
Among the documents obtained by FBI agents were three “Confidential” documents, three “Secret” documents, 4 “Top Secret” documents, and one document classified as “Top Secret and Sensitive.”
Classified information is a type of document that is assessed by the U.S. government or an agency as sensitive to national security and should be restricted and controlled.
It could be information about intelligence, foreign relations, military plans or nuclear programs.
The U.S. divides classified information into three levels from low to high: Confidential (C), Secret (Secret – S) and Top Secret (TS).
If leaked, information at these levels could cause “damage,” “serious damage,” and “extremely serious damage” to U.S. national security.
In the Top Secret category, there is also a level called SCI – “sensitive partition information”, which applies to certain information from intelligence sources and only a small group of special individuals have access.
Some other designations will come with Secret and Top Secret group documents for clearer access restrictions.
For example, Critical Nuclear Weapons Design Information is a designation with classified documentation related to the design and operation of nuclear weapons.