1. ChrisGallagher
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    ChrisGallagher Member

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    If a operative found a document, what process would be taken to find its origin

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by ChrisGallagher, Jun 22, 2010.

    I'm currently writing a novel, and need a leaked State Department document to be found by a CIA Station Chief. It relates to a Cosmic Top Secret document, involving several Spanish politicians. How would this document be treated, considering that it has never been seen before, refers to a deniable government department, and is accidentally on the Basic Intelligence Digest.

    Anybody know?
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    The discussion of how classified documents are handled is itself a classified subject.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    wrey's humor aside, you're the writer and since there's no such thing as 'cosmic top secret, the rest can also be whatever you want it to be...
     
  4. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Actually I was not being humorous. During my entire time in the service there was not a single document that passed through my hands that was not of a classified nature. It would be a heinous (not to mention illegal) breach of intel security to confirm or deny the manner in which such documents are handled, transported, or housed. This type of generalized information is considered just as "secure" as the actual data itself. In fact, probably more-so. Giving out this kind of general information would be considered a broad spectrum breach of security which could have consequences on all missions of a secure nature as opposed to specific information that might create a compromise of just a single mission.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Still, I must agree with Maia. Chris really does need to do his own research (which is not the same as "ask a bunch of strangers on a forum") and make his own story decisions.

    It's how stories are built. By an author, not a committee.
     
  6. Peregrin
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    Peregrin Member

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    Google "metadata".
     
  7. ChrisGallagher
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    ChrisGallagher Member

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    fair enough, I agree. I do need to do my own research. But from what I've learned (since starting research) there is a security level above top secret named Cosmic.
     
  8. rhsexton
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    rhsexton Member

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    Thinking about every movie I've seen and book I've read that had any mention of secret documents, there is never any detail on how such documents are handled. They simply are. The characters know what has to be done. The reader doesn't need that much detail. They just need to know how bad it is that such a document is found and the actions taken by the characters in the story to correct the problem.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    well, if there really is such an official designation, as a google search seems to indicate, i'd delete the first word's 's'!
     
  10. ToxicWaste
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    ToxicWaste Member

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    The only piece of information that I know of that comes anywhere near close to being relevant is that if the document was photocopied, imperfections in the glass of the copier will be transferred to the copy of the document and can be used to find out which copier the copy was made on.
     

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