The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has issued new guidance to the intelligence community on classifying and marking classified national security information, or CNSI.

“Classifying and marking CNSI accurately and consistently are critical to ensuring accountability and transparency throughout the Community. The requirement to do so will grow in importance as the IC moves increasingly into an era of shared data and must respond to new technology that is enabling and changing ways information is communicated,” it says.

The “Principles of Classification Management for the Intelligence Community” states that classification decisions should reflect a risk management strategy and that agency policies “should address how the strategy is applied in defining and differentiating classification levels.”

Those policies further are to explain the reasoning behind determinations of whether information is unclassified, controlled unclassified or classified; and how classification markings are used to manage information, facilitate information sharing and achieve mission objectives while protecting classified information.

The guidance also sets standards for declassifying and downgrading classified information, stating a fundamental principle that passage of time “diminishes sensitivity of some classified information.”

The document, which includes implementation instructions, is on the ODNI site.