The CUI Program standardizes the way the Executive branch handles unclassified information that does not meet the criteria required for classification under E.O. 13526, “Classified National Security Information,” December 29, 2009, or the Atomic Energy Act but must be protected based on law, regulation, or Government-wide policy. That protection involves the safeguards employed while being stored or handled by the Executive branch departments or agencies (hereafter referred to as agencies), as well as the controls involving how the information is disseminated.
Prior to implementation of the CUI Program, agencies employed ad hoc, agency-specific policies, procedures, and markings to safeguard and control this information, such as information that involves privacy, security, proprietary business interests, and law enforcement investigations. This inefficient, confusing patchwork resulted in inconsistent marking and safeguarding of documents, led to unclear or unnecessarily restrictive dissemination policies, and created impediments to authorized information sharing.
This handbook was developed to assist authorized holders by providing examples of correctly marked Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI). Markings alert holders to the presence of CUI and, when portion markings are used, identify the exact information or portion that needs protection. Markings can alert holders to any CUI dissemination and safeguarding controls. While every marking situation is not reflected, this handbook provides basic marking guidelines for CUI, regardless of form.
Employees must review their agency’s CUI policy prior to marking any CUI. The handling of CUI must be in accordance with E.O. 13556, “Controlled Unclassified Information,” November 4, 2010, (hereafter referred to as the Order), 32 CFR Part 2002, supplemental guidance published by the CUI Executive Agent (EA), and all applicable EA-approved agency policy. This handbook contains guidance on what each marking is, where and how to
apply it, and which items are mandatory or optional (based on internal agency policy). All markings used are for illustration purposes only. This booklet does not contain CUI and may be reproduced without permission.