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For Official Use Only

For Official Use Only (FOUO) is an information security designation used by governments throughout the world.


United StatesEdit

Among U.S. government information, FOUO is primarily used by the U.S. Department of Defense as a handling instruction for Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) which may be exempt from release under exemptions two through nine of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).[1] It is one of the various sub-categorizations for strictly unclassified information which, on 24 February 2012, was officially consolidated as CUI.

U.S. Department of DefenseEdit

On 24 February 2012, the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence published the publicly available DoDM 5200.01, a four-volume manual consolidating all marking of information used by the U.S. Department of Defense.[2] There is a lot more information on the marking, access, and protection of "For Official Use Only" information. Most of the information is in the fourth volume, but the second volume also contains guidelines on FOUO information.


For Official Use Only (FOUO) is one of five categories of the Dissemination Limiting Marker (DLM) defined by the Australian Government Information Security Management Guidelines.[3] The guidelines state that FOUO should only be used on unclassified information, when its compromise may cause limited damage to national security, Australian Government agencies, commercial entities or members of the public. However unlike the United States usage, the presence or absence of an FOUO marker expressly does not provide any information about the document's status under the Freedom of Information Act.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-08-22. Retrieved 2012-03-26.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Australian Government Information Security Management Guidelines