A tearline is the area in a raw or finished intelligence product where selected information of a more highly classified and/or controlled report is removed and/or sanitized to enable broader dissemination of the product at various classification levels. The remaining material contains the substance of the original intelligence without identifying sensitive sources and methods. The Director of Central Intelligence Directive (DCID) 8/1 Intelligence Community Policy on Intelligence Information Sharing (Section 2.B) requires the FBI to provide intelligence at multiple security levels appropriate to the security authorizations of the intended recipients, and tearlines are one method to accomplish this.
The following topics would be suitable for tearline dissemination:
- Imminent threats to state, tribal, or local personnel or jurisdictions;
- Potential targets of terrorism within foreign, state, tribal, or local jurisdictions;
- Activities, financing, and capabilities of terrorist or criminal organizations; and
- Collaboration among terrorist or criminal organizations.