Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility

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A Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF; pronounced "skiff") in United States military, security and intelligence parlance, is an enclosed area within a building that is used to process Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) types of classified information.

SCI is usually only briefed, discussed, and stored in an accredited SCIF.

Access[edit]

Access to SCIFs is normally limited to those with clearance.[1] Non-cleared personnel in SCIF must be under constant oversight to prevent unauthorized access to classified material;[2] as part of this process, non-cleared personnel are typically required to surrender recording and other electronic devices.[3] All of the activity and conversation inside is presumed restricted from public disclosure.

Construction[edit]

Some entire buildings are SCIFs where all but the front foyer is secure. 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).

In popular culture[edit]

  • The Drop Dead Diva episode "Desperate Housewife" shows a SCIF being used by the United States government to convey information to a judge while preventing the defendants in a trial from hearing the information.
  • In the episode "The Bit Bucket" of The Good Wife, a SCIF is used by the NSA to convey information to a judge while preventing the defendants in a trial from hearing the information. Later in the episode the defendants' lawyers use the SCIF to argue without the NSA's lawyer present.
  • In the Criminal Minds episodes Lauren and Valhalla, a SCIF in Quantico is used to hold a briefing between the Behavioral Analysis Unit and a private counterintelligence group.
  • In Homeland episode "There's Something Else Going On", a SCIF is seen at the Islamabad United States Embassy.
  • In the NCIS: New Orleans episode "The Abyss," Coast Guard Special Agent Abigail Borin is seen accessing SCIF to oversee an undersea recovery.
  • In Burn Notice episode "Signals and Codes" Michael Weston has to break into a SCIF room in order to download the decryption key for various emails sent by a treasonous employee of a corporate government contractor.
  • In Person of Interest (TV series) season 1 episode 22, titled "No Good Deed", is based on an operative who works at a SCIF.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]