Cover your ass
Cover your ass (CYA) or cover your own ass (CYOA) describes professional and organizational practices that serve to protect oneself from legal and administrative penalties, criticism, or other punitive measures.
Common practices 
- Banking - compliance officers who may know that certain financial transactions are dubious, i.e., that money laundering and terrorist financing will inevitably occur regardless of the amount of regulatory structures put in place, but who comply with all the regulatory requirements, and thus absolve themselves from future liability.
- Journalists - The term's use is also reasonably widespread among journalists
As an example, just before the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, the final launch approval by Morton Thiokol (the maker of the solid rocket boosters used during the launch) contained the following warning: "Information on this page was prepared to support an oral presentation and cannot be considered complete without the oral discussion". This warning, which was present even though the information was sent by fax, has been labelled as a CYA notice.
See also 
- The Economist, Financing terrorism: Looking in the wrong places. 20 October 2005
- Jeffrey Robinson. Brown's war just doesn't add up: you can't kill terrorists with a calculator. The Times. 14 February 2006.
- Joe Grimm. Newsroom politics: Cover your ass.
- Edward R. Tufte, Visual Explanations. Graphics Press, 1997. pp 26–53.