Emergency Authority

In emergency situations in which there is an imminent threat to life or in defense of the homeland, agency heads or their designees may authorize the disclosure of classified information to an individual or individuals who are otherwise not routinely eligible for access.  When this is done, the following conditions must be met:

(1) Limit the amount of classified information disclosed to the absolute minimum to achieve the purpose;

(2) Limit the number of individuals who receive it;

(3) Transmit the classified information via Federal Government channels by the most secure and expeditious method approved for transmission of classified information, or other means deemed necessary when time is of the essence;

(4) Provide instructions about what specific information is classified, how it should be safeguarded; physical custody of classified information must remain with an authorized Federal Government entity, in all but the most extraordinary circumstances;

(5) Provide appropriate briefings to the recipients on their responsibilities not to disclose the information and obtain a signed nondisclosure agreement;

6) Within 72 hours of the disclosure of classified information, or the earliest opportunity that the emergency permits, but no later than 30 days after the release, the disclosing authority must notify the originating agency and provide information on what information was disclosed to whom and why, how the information was disclosed or  transmitted; and how the information is being safeguarded now. A description of the security briefing that was provided and a copy of the signed nondisclosure agreement(s) should also be provided.

Reference
Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) Directive No. 1, Section 2001.51.
 

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