highest classification of any data ever recorded on the
media. If classified working copy media is given to a
user, the user is then responsible for its protection.
Classified finished media must be marked and
accounted for. You may be responsible for inventorying
magnetic tapes, disk packs, and other forms of AIS
media. Your activity must maintain a master list of AIS
media that is classified as Secret or Top Secret. This
master list includes the overall security classification of
the media and the identification number permanently
assigned to it. The media must also be controlled in the
same manner prescribed for classified material outside
an AIS environment. For additional information,
consult the Department of the Navy Information and
Personnel Security Program Regulation, OPNAVINST
5510.1 (hereinafter called the Security Manual).
Your activity will have procedures for marking AIS
media. These are important to protect the media from
unauthorized, accidental, or intentional disclosure,
modification, destruction, or loss. You can imagine
how easy it is to pickup an unmarked tape, load it on
the tape drive, and have whatever is on it recorded over
by a program. You have probably done this to tapes
with your tape cassette recorder/player. This is why we
have mechanical means, like tape rings and diskette
notches, to protect magnetic media. These methods,
combined with clearly marked labels, go a long way
toward protecting data and programs on magnetic
media. Lets look at the types of markings the Navy
uses for the various types of media for marking
MAGNETIC MEDIA. Each magnetic tape,
diskette, and disk pack must be externally marked with
a stick-on label with the overall security classification
and a permanently assigned identification number.
When the tapes, diskettes, and disk packs are to be
declassified by degaussing, all external labels
indicating the classification must be removed unless the
media will be immediately used to store information of
the same classification. Many installations set aside
groups of tapes and disks for recording classified data
at each security level.
HARD-COPY REPORTS, MICROFILM, AND
MICROFICHE. Hard-copy reports or printouts
from a printer, terminal, plotter, or other computer
equipment and microfilm and microfiche must be
properly marked. Those prepared during classified
processing must be marked at the top and bottom of
each page with the appropriate classification or the
word unclassified, and each page should be
CRT DISPLAYS. The appropriate security
classification marking is displayed at the top of the
screen when displaying classified data or information.
Disposition of Media
There comes a time when the media or the
information on the media is no longer needed. With
microfilm, microfiche, and printouts, we destroy the
media with the data. The same is not true of magnetic
media. We can erase and reuse the media when the data
is no longer needed. However, the media cannot
function forever. Tapes and disks become damaged or
eventually wear out.
When a disk or tape becomes unusable, it must be
disposed of. But first, each disk and tape must be
accounted for. It may have been used for classified data.
The magnetic media librarian will see that it is disposed
of properly. If the media contained classified data, it
will be degaussed before being destroyed.
There are two other problem areas we tend to forget:
printer ribbons and carbon paper. Ribbons and carbon
paper must be disposed of properly. Because of the
large variety of ribbons and printers, it is difficult to
state with certainty that any and all classified
information have been totally obscured from a given
ribbon unless you examine that ribbon in detail.
Therefore, printer ribbons are controlled at the highest
classification of information ever printed by that ribbon
until that ribbon is destroyed. The same ribbon is used
in the printer for classified and unclassified information
consistent with the levels of physical security enforced
for the area.
Carbons are easily readable and must be handled
and disposed of in accordance with the classification of
data they contain. Remember, regardless of what the
media is, it must be disposed of in accordance with the
Security Manual if it ever contained classified
Basically, the requirement states that the data must
be destroyed beyond recognition. If the media did not
contain classified information, follow your activitys
standard operating procedures (SOPs).