After I posted the CAPCO v6 last month, some new information has come up regarding a few of the disclosed SCIs, specifically ENDSEAL.
Last week, the ODNI published an even newer version of the Intelligence Community Markings System: Register and Manual, dated December 2013. This is dated only 10 months later than the version that was released to me via FOIA, but it includes some significant changes.
One such change is that the office producing the document has switched from Controlled Access Program Coordination Office (CAPCO) to Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive (ONCIX), Special Security Directorate (SSD), Security Markings Program (SMP). The change log indicates that this is the “new organizational name”, but it does not indicate if the office was merely renamed or if this is a new office responsible for the document.
In addition there’s references to two previously-unreported REL TO markings: TEYE and ACGU. REL TO TEYE indicates the information is releasable to the three-eye partners, similar to FVEY for five-eyes, but includes only USA, Canada, and the UK. REL TO ACGU authorizes release to USA, Australia, Canada, and the UK, but not New Zealand.
In this unredacted document, the complete descriptions for ENDSEAL and its two compartments are given:
ENDSEAL (EL) is a sensitive compartmented information (SCI) control system designed to protect access levels established for personnel whose duties require only overview knowledge, a periodic access, or administrative handling of ECRU and NONBOOK material.
ECRU and NONBOOK, both compartments of ENDSEAL, also have unredacted descriptions:
An EL compartment. ECRU is used for intelligence products intended for dissemination to IC consumers. Intelligence products containing sensitive intelligence may be further protected in EL-EU sub-compartment.
This is not a lot of new information, but it is significant that both ECRU and NONBOOK are used for intelligence products. Products are finalized reports that are meant to be distributed to other IC elements and policymakers. This is different from raw intelligence, which is not meant to be distributed outside the originating intelligence organization.
For the first time in any public version of the markings manual, the complete pages for HCS, HCS-OPERATIONS, and HCS-PRODUCT are available. The definitions confirm the analysis I provided in my last post, which stated that HCS-O is used to protect operations, sources, and methods and is restricted from being disseminated outside CIA; HCS-P is designed to protect intelligence information for distribution to IC consumers.
There are some notable changes in the HCS markings in the latest December 2013 edition. Notably, HCS, HCS-O, and HCS-P are now all declared to be “unclassified when standing alone.” In addition, HCS-O trigraphs and HCS-P sub-compartment markings are also unclassified when standing alone, but HCS-O codewords may be classified. The new manual also states that HCS without a compartment is a legacy marking, and all uses of HCS should be moved to HCS-P. Perhaps in a future update to the manual, these compartments will not be marked as U//FOUO, as they currently are.
I was sent a FOIA document called “Memorandum of Understanding between The NSA/CSS and The Chief of Naval Operations Governing Definitions, Access, and Dissemination Control Policies for [redacted] Under the Protection of the ENDSEAL Program”.
This short and heavily redacted document sets forth the procedures for handling some form of intelligence information under the ENDSEAL program. The document explicitly states that “The United States Intelligence Board […] gave the U.S. Navy responsibility for ‘standing guard for U.S. intelligence community on the matter of [redacted] (ENDSEAL) reports.’” The document also makes reference to granting additional access to the ENDSEAL program for other U.S. and foreign cryptologic officers, so it is likely that code-breaking is an element of this program (as it would be for many other SIGINT programs).
This document makes it clear that ENDSEAL is a compartment for the finalized intelligence product, as also indicated in the Markings Manual. Whatever raw intelligence is collected for ENDSEAL reports is likely handled under a different, still-classified coverterm.
Marc Ambinder at The Week talks about ENDSEAL in an article:
[ENDSEAL] is, I am reasonably certain, the group of sensors, underground electronic nets, laser systems, stations and satellite technologies that allow the Navy to collect classic SIGINT and electronic intelligence on submarines, ship movements, adversary counter-measures, and a host of other phenomenon. ENDSEAL is further down into subcompartments — ECRU and NONBOOK.
While his assessment lacks a primary source, it does seem plausible given that ENDSEAL and its compartments are described almost exclusively in relation to the Navy. As noted previously, ENDSEAL products must always be marked with the SI marking as well, since it covers a form of SIGINT.
This week I received an update from the ODNI regarding my request of DCID 304 covering the collection of HUMINT. The FOIA office reported that, “the version of ICD 304 that was released to you was done so prior to completion of our consultation with another government agency.” In this response, they included the complete and unredacted version of DCID 304.