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Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI)

Definition - What does Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) mean?

Controlled unclassified information (CUI) in a new category of unclassified information that replaced the various categories used for sensitive but unclassified information. CUI was created by former President George W. Bush in a memo dated May 2008. A further order by President Barack Obama allowed for new handling of CUI to be established by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). CUI is unclassified information relating to the interests of the U.S. federal government or outside entities it believes should be protected.

Techopedia explains Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI)

Under President Bush’s memo, various tiers of CUI were established to determine how different levels of information are handled. These levels are:

  1. Controlled with standard dissemination
  2. Controlled with specified dissemination
  3. Controlled enhancement with specified dissemination

No additional labels for CUI are permitted throughout the U.S. federal government. However, there is a lot of information that does not apply to any of these categories. President Bush gave the National Archives and Records Administration control of CUI handling. Thus, the NARA determines appropriate standards related to CUI.

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