“Government officials can get ready to toss out their “For Official Use Only” stamps under a pending rule that would standardize how the government marks and stores information that is deemed sensitive but is not classified. The National Archives and Records Administration is leading the charge for a new policy on controlled unclassified information (CUI) designed to replace the more than 100 ad hoc system maintained by agencies across government to control – critics say over-control — information. In consultation with more than 150 government entities, NARA has come up with a list of 22 categories and 85 subcategories that are considered CUI under the law. These include copyright and patent information, personally identifiable information, raw census data, intelligence and law enforcement data, and information systems vulnerabilities. These are maintained in NARA’s CUI Registry. A proposed rule expected to be put out for comment in the Federal Register in August will established uniform policies for the safeguarding, sharing, marking and release of CUI. New policy will also clarify the relationship between CUI safeguards and decisions to consider documents ineligible for release under the Freedom of Information Act. This will build on existing NARA guidance says that, “CUI markings and designations should not be associated with or paired to FOIA exemptions and should not be used as a basis for applying a FOIA exception.”
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