This Is The Difference Between ‘Confidential’, ‘Secret’ And ‘Top Secret’

We all know the names of the three categories that executive agencies sort their classified data into. But how many people can actually tell the difference between ‘confidential’, ‘secret’ and ‘top secret’? Well, because I’m A Useless Info Junkie readers should know this useless information, here they are.

As it turns out, they all have to do with how serious damage can cause to the national secutiry in case of unauthorized disclosure:


This is the lowest level of classification. ‘Confidential’ means that the unauthorized disclosure of this information is expected to cause damage to the national security. (the article continues after the ad)


The next level of classification is ‘Secret’ which is applied to information that executive agencies believe that their unauthorized disclosure could cause serious damage to national security.

Top Secret

As its name implies, ‘Top Secret’ is the highest level of classification. ‘Top Secret’ means that the unauthorized disclosure is reasonably expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security.

About 25% of all newly classified documents are labeled “confidential”, 65% will fall into the “secret” category while the remaining 10% are graded “top secret.”

Another interesting information here is how many people can actually get their hands on this documents. Surprisingly, there’s a report prepared by the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence that includes these data. In October 2015 (the most recent report), 2,885,570 people had access to confidential or secret information while 1,363,483 people were eligible to receive top-secret clearance.

If you like what you read, then you will definitely love this one: This Is The Difference Between ‘Brown Eggs’ And ‘White Eggs’ 

Photo: Creative Commons
Photoshop: I’m A Useless Info Junkie
Sources: What’s the Difference Between “Top Secret” and “Confidential”? | How Secret Is Top Secret?

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