Can Top-Secret Data Be Transported Unclassified?
Commercial Solutions for Classified (CSfC) is essential for the National Security Agency (NSA) strategy to deliver secure cybersecurity solutions. The CSfC program leverages commercial encryption technologies and products to provide much-needed cybersecurity solutions quickly. Commercial encryption technologies are employed in many technologies today, such as automobiles, mobile phones, tablets, and home security systems.
The CSfC program was established to protect classified National Security Systems (NSS) data with commercial products in layered solutions. Solutions handling Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmentalized Information (TS/SCI) have been approved by the NSA. CSfC provides security and efficiency: security through the ability to securely communicate based on commercial standards and efficiency through an NSA-managed program that offers a solution that can be fielded in months, not years.
Regarding the question posed in the blog title, the short answer is yes. When top-secret data is transported on removable media, it is sufficiently encrypted as to be considered unclassified. There is much more to the story, so please read on for the details.
For more details regarding the CSfC program, reference the Curtiss-Wright whitepaper Data-At-Rest Encryption Series: Commercial Solutions for Classified (CSfC).