Information security

INF011

Security classifications for national security information

This section covers the RESTRICTED, CONFIDENTIAL, SECRET, and TOP SECRET security classifications.

RESTRICTED

Use the RESTRICTED security classification when the compromise of information would be likely to adversely affect the national interest.

For instance, where compromise could:

  • adversely affect diplomatic relations
  • hinder the operational effectiveness or security of New Zealand or friendly forces
  • hinder the security of New Zealand forces or friendly forces
  • adversely affect the internal stability or economic wellbeing of New Zealand or friendly countries.

CONFIDENTIAL

Use the CONFIDENTIAL security classification when the compromise of information would cause significant damage to the national interest.

For instance, where compromise could:

  • greatly damage diplomatic relations and cause formal protest or other sanctions
  • damage the operational effectiveness of New Zealand forces or friendly forces
  • damage the security of New Zealand forces or friendly forces
  • damage the effectiveness of valuable security or intelligence operations
  • damage the internal stability of New Zealand or friendly countries
  • disrupt significant national infrastructure.

SECRET

Use the SECRET security classification when the compromise of information would cause serious damage to the national interest.

For instance, where compromise could:

  • raise international tension
  • seriously damage relations with friendly governments
  • seriously damage the security of New Zealand forces or friendly forces
  • seriously damage the operational effectiveness of New Zealand forces or friendly forces
  • seriously damage the effectiveness of valuable security or intelligence operations
  • seriously damage the internal stability of New Zealand or friendly countries
  • shut down or substantially disrupt significant national infrastructure.

TOP SECRET

Use the TOP SECRET security classification when the compromise of information would cause exceptionally grave damage to the national interest.

For instance, where compromise could:

  • threaten the internal stability of New Zealand or friendly countries
  • lead directly to widespread loss of life
  • cause exceptional damage to the security of New Zealand or allies
  • cause exceptional damage to the operational effectiveness of New Zealand forces or friendly forces
  • cause exceptional damage to the continuing effectiveness of extremely valuable security or intelligence operations
  • cause exceptional damage to relations with other governments
  • cause severe long-term damage to significant national infrastructure.  

Page last modified: 5/08/2019