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For Official Use Only

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Definitions Edit

Department of Homeland Security Edit

For official use only (FOUO) is

unclassified information of a sensitive nature, not otherwise categorized by statute or regulation, the unauthorized disclosure of which could adversely affect a person's privacy or welfare, the conduct of Federal programs, or other programs or operations essential to the national interest.[1]

General Edit

FOUO is an acronym for “For Official Use Only” information handling caveat. By definition, FOUO documents are unclassified documents. Such documents are not automatically exempt from disclosure under the FOIA. Information requested by the public under an FOIA request must still be reviewed on a case-by-case basis


[a] caveat applied to unclassified sensitive information that may be exempt from mandatory release to the public under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C 522. In general, information marked FOUO shall not be disclosed to anybody except Government (Federal, State, tribal, or local) employees or contractors with a need to know.[2]

Military Edit

For official use only (FOUO) is

[a] designation previously used for marking unclassified sensitive information. This designation has been replaced by the Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) Framework.[3]

References Edit

  1. DHS Management Directive 11042.1, at 1.
  2. Criminal Justice Information Services Security Policy, Glossary, at A-5.
  3. Baseline Capabilities for State and Major Urban Area Fusion Centers, at 47.

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