Classified Information

Classified information is information that, if misused, can harm the vital interests of Belgium. Therefore, a protection level is granted by or on behalf of an authority. "Classified information" covers, among others, documents, data and equipment, the non-appropriate use of which may damage the security, international relations or the economic potential of Belgium. Within the scope of their responsibilities, administrations and companies engaged in vital sectors such as security, defense, aerospace and nuclear sectors may may be in contact with classified information.

The four requirements 

A person who needs access to classified information must meet four requirements:

  1. Work for a company or administration cleared by the NSA or registered to handle classified information
  2. Be holder of a personal security clearance  on the required level
  3. Demonstrate a Need To Know for professional reasons
  4. Having received a security briefing

 

Classification Levels

In Belgium there are three classification levels:

  • CONFIDENTIAL
  • SECRET
  • TRES SECRET

The classification level is determined on the basis of the content. Other countries or international organizations often have a lower fourth classification level.

Below is a table showing the various classification levels applied in Belgium and the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO):

NATIONAL (BELGIUM) TOP SECRET/TRES SECRET

SECRET/SECRET

CONFIDENTIAL/CONFIDENTIAL

 
NATO

COSMIC TOP SECRET

NATO SECRET NATO CONFIDENTIAL

NATO RESTRICTED

EU

TRES SECRET UE/EU TOP SECRET

SECRET UE/EU SECRET

CONFIDENTIEL UE/EU CONFIDENTIAL

RESTREINT UE/EU RESTRICTED