“Eyes Only” Revisited

I was poking around declassified documents from the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and found a reference to “Eyes Only” from when they reorganized their BYEMAN control channel in 1993. They seemed to use it to indicate material “above Top Secret.” In an earlier post I argued that “Eyes Only” meant “above Top Secret” primarily in spy fiction. Here’s evidence that the NRO used it for “above Top Secret.”

The 17-page document of interest was collected and distributed by GovernmentAttic.org and described as “National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) records regarding the 1993 BYEMAN Compartmentation Restructure.” Government Attic posted it on 17 December 2012.

A definition of “Eyes Only” appeared as a legend in a (still classified) diagram of the reorganized channel:

A later discussion in the documented highlighted the goal of reducing amounts of highly classified information within the BYEMAN system in terms of Top Secret and Eyes Only data:

This paragraph discussed Top Secret and Eyes Only as relative “levels” of classification. No other US security document I’ve found refers to Eyes Only this way.

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