Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility
In United States security and intelligence parlance, a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF; pronounced "skiff") is an enclosed area within a building that is used to process Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) types of classified information. SCI is classified information concerning or derived from intelligence sources, methods, or analytical processes, which is required to be handled within formal access control systems established by the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI). Some entire buildings are SCIFs where all but the front foyer is secure. Access to SCIFs is limited, and all of the activity and conversation inside is presumed restricted from public disclosure. A SCIF can also be located in an air, ground or maritime vehicle, or can be established on a temporary basis at a specific site.
The physical construction, access control, and alarming of the facility has been defined by various directives, including Director of Central Intelligence Directives (DCIDs) 1/21 and 6/9, and most recently (2011) by Intelligence Community Directive (ICD) 705, signed by the Director of National Intelligence. ICD 705 is a three page document that implements Intelligence Community Standard (ICS) 705.1. Computers operating within such a facility must conform to rules established by ICD 503. Computers and telecommunication equipment within must conform to TEMPEST emanations specification as directed by a Certified TEMPEST Technical Authority (CTTA).
SCI is usually only briefed, discussed, and stored in an accredited SCIF. Moreover, programs used for SCI are normally not acknowledged publicly by the U.S. government.
There are SCIFs in the United States Capitol building in which members of Congress are routinely briefed on intelligence, counterintelligence and military operations. In U.S. nuclear labs, computers that store weapons data are housed inside SCIFs. Parts of the United States Department of Homeland Security, such as the Science & Technology Directorate's new National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC) at Fort Detrick, Maryland, the Department of Defense, and the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis have SCIFs. Many U.S. military installations in the United States and around the world are equipped with SCIFs.
- "A sensitive compartmented information facility meets official government requirements for a secure area where classified information is handled. A SCIF can be a room, a building or even a trailer enclosed in special panels to prevent information from leaking and where jamming is used to prevent surveillance. Access is controlled." Trish Choate (January 15, 2009). "Air Force planning to train hundreds yearly in cyber warfare skills".
- "SCIF outlines stringent physical security requirements, such as the thickness of doors, the strength of concrete and the use of alarms and acoustical controls to prevent any eavesdropping within facilities, including by electronic means." Patrick Thibodeau (February 12, 2008). "Outsourcing helps spur data center land rush outside D.C."
- "Physical Security Standards for Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities", DCID 6/9 Text; effective 18 November 2002. Retrieved 2010-07-19.
- "Director of Central Intelligence Directive 6/3 Protecting sensitive compartmented information within information systems", MANUAL. n.d. Retrieved 2010-07-19.
- Vaidyanathan, Rajini (22 March 2011). "Barack Obama's top secret tent". BBC News.
-  Text; SCIFSolutions.com Manufacturers and Suppliers of Mobile, Portable, and Permanent SCIF's worldwide. TEMPEST SCIF's are also available with attenuation of 60dB guaranteed and 80dB consistently achieved.
-  Text; Director Signature and Technical Specifications for Construction and Management of Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities.