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ConSIDer This: What Does It Mean to Downgrade COMINT?

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DYNAMIC PAGE -- HIGHEST POSSIBLE CLASSIFICATION IS TOP SECRET // SI / TK // REL TO USA AUS CAN GBR NZL (U//FOUO) ConSIDer This: What Does It Mean to Downgrade COMINT? FROM: SIGINT Communications Unknown Run Date: 08/05/2003 (C//SI) Downgrading is often confused with sanitization: Sanitization is carried out in order to make COMINT information releasable outside of COMINT channels (e.g., making it straight SECRET). Downgrading, by contrast, does not involve taking material out of COMINT channels -the information stays either within or outside of COMINT channels, and that aspect of it does not change. The only change is to the classification level. So, for example, changing text from TS//SI to S//SI would be a downgrade, as would changing TOP SECRET information to SECRET. In order to downgrade COMINT, a plausible cover (i.e., collection from a less sensitive source) must exist. (U//FOUO) The downgrading of U.S. COMINT is performed only by: an Original Classification Authority (OCA) at NSA, in coordination with the Information Security Policy office (DC322), or personnel tasked specifically with the formal review and declassification of cryptologic materials. (These are typically contractors working to comply with E.O. 12958, and does not include anyone in the SIGINT Directorate below the level of OCA.) "(U//FOUO) SIDtoday articles may not be republished or reposted outside NSANet without the consent of S0121 (DL sid_comms)." DYNAMIC PAGE -- HIGHEST POSSIBLE CLASSIFICATION IS TOP SECRET // SI / TK // REL TO USA AUS CAN GBR NZL DERIVED FROM: NSA/CSSM 1-52, DATED 08 JAN 2007 DECLASSIFY ON: 20320108

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