House Passes Bill to Clarify Use of Security Classifications

Last week the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1323, the “Reducing Information Control Designations Act,” to restrict and reduce the use of markings to control what is known as “sensitive but unclassified” (SBU) information and “controlled unclassified information” (CUI). The bill is identical to a bill passed by the House during the 110th Congress.

The legislation builds off of a memorandum issued by President Bush to standardize the use of these markings. President Bush’s framework was met with skepticism by many public interest advocates who are worried, for example, that the proposed framework does not eliminate the creation of new markings in the future and does not set up a system for eventually removing the markings. Before any legislation to handle SBU/CUI is implemented, the Obama Administration should initiate a review of the Bush framework and seek public input on the issue.