Sensitive But Unclassified (SBU)/ Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI)

The threat to government openness and information access has been heightened due to a subtitle in the Homeland Security Act of 2002, which had gone relatively unnoticed. Title VIII, Subtitle I deals with "Information Sharing" and establishes procedures for sharing "homeland security" information among federal, state and local authorities. The DHS Secretary has the authority to "prescribe and implement procedures" for safeguarding "sensitive but unclassified" information, and set limits on the use and reuse of such information given to states and localities. These provisions were passed within the Homeland Security Act without any debate or discussion by Congress.

In addition to the DHS language under development, a number of other agencies have laws, regulations, and policies concerning SBU information. Although some of these existed before 9/11, since the attacks the government has used them with increased frequency. Some examples of these categories are the Transportation Security Administration’s "Sensitive Security Information," the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s "Safeguards Information," and DHS’s "For Official Use Only" designation.

Analyses and Reports


Resource Pages


Legislation and Policies





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