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Original Classification Answers

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The primary purpose of this study guide is to serve as a valuable and comprehensive reference tool for learners seeking to gain a thorough understanding of the principles, requirements, and processes associated with original classification.

By providing detailed explanations, illustrative examples, and practical insights, this guide aims to equip individuals with the knowledge and skills required to excel in the field of original classification.

Scope: This study guide has been meticulously designed to encompass all the essential components of the Original Classification course. It offers a comprehensive overview of the principles and practices related to original classification, ensuring that learners have access to the foundational knowledge required to excel in this critical area.

Additionally, the guide includes practice questions and revision techniques to enhance learners’ comprehension and readiness for the associated exam.

Whether you are new to the concept of original classification or seeking to refresh your knowledge, this guide is your go-to resource for mastering this vital aspect of safeguarding sensitive information.

Course Objectives:

  • Define original classification
  • Identify Original Classification Authority requirements and qualifications
  • Identify the six steps in the original classification decision process
  • Identify limitations and prohibitions on original classification
  • Identify the basis for determining classification levels
  • Identify the process for determining duration of classification
  • Identify authorized sources of classification guidance

Original Classification Review Activity Answers

Q1: Which statement best defines original classification?

  • The act or process by which information is determined to be declassified.
  • The change in status of information from classified to unclassified.
  • The process of generating in another form, information that has been classified and marking it to show its classification.
  • The initial government determination that information requires protection in the interest of national security.

A1: The initial government determination that information requires protection in the interest of national security.

Q2: A classifier uses information in a TOP SECRET document to generate a new document for use in the DoD. The classifier marks the new document “TOP SECRET.” What process did this individual just complete?

  • Original Classification
  • Top Secret Classification
  • Derivative Classification
  • National Security Classification

A2: Derivative Classification

Q3: A classifier determines that a report containing certain chemical formulas associated with bio-chemical defense could cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security of the United States if revealed. The classifier classifies the information TOP SECRET. What process did this individual just complete?

  • Original Classification
  • Top Secret Classification
  • Derivative Classification
  • National Security Classification

A3: Original Classification

Q4: An OCA appointed with TOP SECRET classification authority may not delegate SECRET and CONFIDENTIAL classification authority to a subordinate.

  • True
  • False

A4: False

Q5: If a Security Classification Guide exists to address a specific classification need, an OCA request will be denied.

  • True
  • False

A5: True

Q6: An OCA request will not be granted if there is another OCA in the chain of comment to which decisions can be referred.

  • True
  • False

A6: True

Q7: All OCAs must be trained in how to properly mark classified information.

  • True
  • False

A7: True

Q8: An OCA appointed with Secret classification authority may classify information at which of the following levels?

  • TOP SECRET, SECRET, and CONFIDENTIAL
  • SECRET and CONFIDENTIAL
  • TOP SECRET and SECRET
  • CONFIDENTIAL

A8: SECRET and CONFIDENTIAL

Q9: What must OCA requests contain?

  • Brief mission-specific justification for the request
  • Level of security clearance held by the requested OCA
  • Position title for which the authority is requested
  • Name of the requested OCA’s immediate subordinate

A9: Brief mission-specific justification for the request, Position title for which the authority is requested

Q10: Can you identify the correct order of the steps in the original classification process?

  • E, C, A, F, B, D
  • Determine the impact of classifying the information.
  • Determine the duration of the classification.
  • Determine if the information is eligible for classification.
  • Determine how to communicate the classification.
  • Determine if the information is official government information.
  • Designate the classification level of the information.

A10: E, C, A, F, B, D

Q11: An OCA has reviewed information. After a thorough review, the OCA determines that the information does not require protection, but that its release should be delayed for a couple of months in the interest of national security. What determination should the OCA make?

  • Classify the information
  • Derivatively classify the information
  • Do not classify the information
  • Declassify the information

A11: Do not classify the information

Q12: As part of a school research project, university students developed a technology that might one day be applicable in defending the U.S. against biological weapons, but it is not clearly related to national security. What determination should the OCA make?

  • Classify the information
  • Derivatively classify the information
  • Do not classify the information
  • Declassify the information

A12: Do not classify the information

Q13: An OCA has examined information and has determined it needs to be classified at the SECRET level. If this information were disclosed without authorization, what type of damage could reasonably be expected to occur to national security?

  • Exceptionally grave damage
  • Damage
  • Severe damage
  • Serious damage

A13: Serious damage

Q14: How well do you know the process for determining the duration of classification?

  • OCAs must always assign a downgrading date when they originally classify information.
  • OCAs must always make a declassification determination when they originally classify information.
  • OCAs first seek to identify a declassification date within 10 years of the date of original classification, after which revealing the information no longer poses a threat to national security.
  • If there is no specific date or event within 10 years, OCAs may assign a date that is exactly 10 years after the original classification.
  • If the information needs protection for longer than 10 years, OCAs may assign a declassification date up to 15 years after the original classification of the information.
  • Several special exemptions apply that allow information to remain classified beyond the maximum duration.

A14:

  • OCAs must always assign a downgrading date when they originally classify information. False
  • OCAs must always make a declassification determination when they originally classify information. True
  • OCAs first seek to identify a declassification date within 10 years of the date of original classification, after which revealing the information no longer poses a threat to national security. True
  • If there is no specific date or event within 10 years, OCAs may assign a date that is exactly 10 years after the original classification. True
  • If the information needs protection for longer than 10 years, OCAs may assign a declassification date up to 15 years after the original classification of the information. False
  • Several special exemptions apply that allow information to remain classified beyond the maximum duration. True

Q15: Which of the following are authorized methods for communicating original classification decisions?

  • Security Classification Guide (SCG)
  • Security Declassification Guide (SDG)
  • Distribution Statements
  • Properly marked source documents
  • A15: Security Classification Guide (SCG), Properly marked source documents.

Understanding Original Classification

Original classification is a fundamental process within the realm of national security that involves the initial determination of whether specific information warrants protection through classification. It encompasses the identification and marking of sensitive data that, if disclosed, could harm national security interests.

This process involves assessing the potential risks associated with information and assigning it an appropriate classification level, such as “Confidential,” “Secret,” or “Top Secret.”

Original classification serves as the foundation for safeguarding sensitive national security information, ensuring that it remains confidential and protected from unauthorized access or disclosure.

Importance: The importance of original classification cannot be overstated in the context of safeguarding national security. It is the first line of defense against unauthorized access to sensitive information that, if compromised, could have far-reaching consequences. Original classification serves several critical purposes, including:

  1. Protection of National Security: By identifying and classifying sensitive information, original classification prevents unauthorized individuals or entities from gaining access to data that could harm national security interests.
  2. Preservation of Intelligence Sources and Methods: Original classification safeguards intelligence sources, methods, and capabilities, ensuring that they remain confidential and protected from adversaries’ prying eyes.
  3. Facilitation of Controlled Access: Classification provides a framework for controlled access to sensitive information, allowing authorized personnel to access data on a need-to-know basis while restricting it from others.
  4. International Relations: Proper classification enhances international relations by ensuring that sensitive diplomatic and foreign relations information is protected, fostering trust among allies and partners.
  5. Legal and Ethical Compliance: Original classification ensures compliance with legal and ethical obligations related to the protection of sensitive information, preventing unauthorized disclosures that may result in legal consequences.

Original Classification Authority (OCA)

OCA Requirements: Original Classification Authorities (OCAs) are individuals who possess specific qualifications and responsibilities to perform the critical task of original classification. The requirements for OCAs are as follows:

  1. Security Clearance: OCAs must hold an appropriate security clearance commensurate with the level of information they are authorized to classify. This ensures that only individuals with the necessary security vetting and trustworthiness can make classification decisions.
  2. Training: OCAs must undergo training that provides a comprehensive understanding of the classification process, relevant policies, and the legal and ethical responsibilities associated with classification.
  3. Knowledge of Classification Guidance: OCAs must be well-versed in the classification guidance documents applicable to their areas of responsibility. This includes familiarity with classification guides, directives, and policies that pertain to specific subject matter.
  4. Legal and Ethical Compliance: OCAs are required to adhere to all legal and ethical obligations related to classification, ensuring that their decisions align with national security interests and do not violate classification prohibitions.

Delegation of Authority: The designation and authorization of OCAs follow a structured process to ensure that individuals with the appropriate qualifications and responsibilities are entrusted with this crucial role. The key aspects of the delegation of authority for OCAs include:

  1. Appointment: OCAs are appointed by authorized officials within their respective organizations. This appointment is based on the individual’s qualifications, security clearance, and need for classification authority.
  2. Designation: OCAs are designated to classify information within specific subject matter areas or categories. This designation ensures that OCAs are responsible for making classification decisions related to their expertise.
  3. Training and Oversight: Before assuming OCA responsibilities, individuals undergo training to understand the classification process, classification guidance, and their legal and ethical obligations. Oversight mechanisms are established to monitor OCA decisions and ensure compliance.
  4. Documented Authority: OCAs receive documented authority that outlines their responsibilities, limitations, and the scope of their classification authority. This document serves as an official record of their designation.
  5. Reauthorization: OCAs may need periodic reauthorization to maintain their classification authority. This process involves reviewing their qualifications and continued compliance with classification requirements.

Exam Preparation

Mock Questions & Answers: Prepare for success by testing your knowledge with these sample questions. Use them as a gauge of your readiness for the exam. The correct answers are provided to help you assess your understanding.

  1. Question: What are the key qualifications required for an Original Classification Authority (OCA)?
    a) Any security clearance, subject matter expertise, and legal training.
    b) A strong desire to classify information, regardless of qualifications.
    c) Appropriate security clearance, training, knowledge of classification guidance, and compliance with legal and ethical obligations.
    d) A recommendation from a coworker.

    Answer: c) Appropriate security clearance, training, knowledge of classification guidance, and compliance with legal and ethical obligations.
  2. Question: Why is original classification important for safeguarding national security?
    a) It ensures that all information is accessible to the public.
    b) It allows individuals to freely share classified information.
    c) It protects sensitive information from unauthorized disclosure and access, safeguarding national security interests.
    d) It streamlines the declassification process.

    Answer: c) It protects sensitive information from unauthorized disclosure and access, safeguarding national security interests.
  3. Question: What is the purpose of documenting an OCA’s authority?
    a) To limit the OCA’s ability to classify information.
    b) To create unnecessary paperwork.
    c) To establish an official record of the OCA’s qualifications and responsibilities.
    d) To bypass classification procedures.

    Answer: c) To establish an official record of the OCA’s qualifications and responsibilities.

Revision Techniques: Effective revision is crucial for retaining course material and performing well in the exam. Consider these techniques:

  • Summarization: Create concise summaries or outlines of key course topics. This helps condense information for quick review.
  • Flashcards: Prepare flashcards with important terms, concepts, and definitions. Use them for self-quizzing.
  • Visualization: Create visual aids like diagrams or mind maps to represent complex concepts. Visual aids can enhance memory retention.
  • Teaching Others: Explaining course concepts to someone else reinforces your understanding and helps identify areas that need further study.

Resources & Tips: To bolster your exam preparation, explore these additional resources and follow these tips:

  • Additional Reading: Consult recommended textbooks, articles, or official documents related to original classification. These resources can provide deeper insights.
  • Online Forums: Participate in online forums or discussion groups where you can ask questions, share knowledge, and clarify doubts.
  • Practice Time Management: During mock exams, practice time management to ensure you can complete the real exam within the allotted time.
  • Stay Relaxed: On exam day, stay relaxed and confident. Manage stress through deep breathing and positive self-talk.
  • Review Instructions: Carefully read and follow exam instructions. Understand the format and requirements of the exam.
  • Review Incorrect Answers: If you take practice exams and answer questions incorrectly, review those topics to strengthen your understanding.

By adopting these revision techniques and utilizing additional resources, you can enhance your exam readiness and increase your chances of achieving a successful outcome. Good luck with your exam preparation!

Resources

  1. Student Guide
  2. Original Classification Glossary of Acronyms and Terms
  3. Course Resources for Original Classification IF102.16

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