COMPROMISE OF CLASSIFIED MATTER
According to SECNAVINST 5510.36, compromise
is An unauthorized disclosure of classified information
to one or more persons who do not possess a current
valid security clearance. This means that material is
compromised if someone loses, steals, captures,
salvages, or sees the material without being cleared. The
material is also compromised if a person who has seen
the material defects.
The compromise of classified information
threatens our national security. How much of a threat the
compromise is depends on the nature and classification
of the compromised material. If you know that material
is compromised or subject to compromise, report the
facts to your superiors right away. If you find classified
documents where they dont belong, such as lying in the
street or on a beach, turn the documents in to your
superior or to the nearest military activity. While this
doesnt seem possible, it has happened!
A security violation is defined as any failure to
comply with the regulations for the protection and
security of classified material.
If you find an unattended open or unlocked safe or
container in which classified material is stowed, a
security violation has been committed. You must report
the discovery immediately to the senior duty officer.
Then, guard the material until the duty officer arrives.
After inspecting the material, the duty officer will lock
the safe. If its believed that the material is or may have
been compromised, the duty officer will have the person
responsible for the material make a detailed inventory.
One form of classified material that cant be
physically safeguarded is the information you carry
around in your head. You are the only person who can
prevent its disclosure. Be constantly on guard to prevent
revealing classified informationeither by talking or
A World War II slogan thats still effective is Loose
lips sink ships. Loose talk, even to a person who has the
same knowledge you have, may be overheard by
unauthorized persons. All of us like to talk about our
ships, our jobs, and our travels. However, when we do,
we should be sure we dont discuss classified
information in our conversations.
Loose talk in public places can be especially
damaging. Intelligence agents are trained to collect bits
of seemingly harmless information. Putting all the bits
together might produce a comprehensive file of
Never discuss classified information over
telephones, as they constitute one of the least secure
systems of communication. Telephones are subject to
wiretappingboth physically and electronically.
Long-distance circuits use microwave radio
transmission, which is easily intercepted. The use of
homemade or unauthorized codes, double-talk, or an
attempt to talk around a classified subject provides no
protection against trained intelligence personnel.
The methods used by foreign intelligence agents
take many forms. An agent could be male or female,
young or old, or of any national origin or background.
Foreign agents exist in our everyday lives as ordinary
people. They could blackmail you or make threats
against you or members of your family. They may take
the friendly approach and offer you friendship, money,
or other things of value. They may even promise to
assist your relatives living in a foreign country. They
may offer any number of things in return for classified
material or bits of information that seem unimportant to
you. Always remember that people who deal in
espionage are experts in dealing with people.
REPORTING SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES
Whether you have access to classified material or
not, you must report to your commanding officer,
through your chain of command, anyone you suspect is
involved with espionage, sabotage, or is compromising
classified material. If a stranger approaches you asking
inappropriate questions when you are on leave or liberty
status and you cannot contact your chain of command,
report this information to the nearest military activity.
Being security conscious and following security
standards and requirements is a big responsibility.
However, maintaining proper security can be
accomplished if you realize that security really is a