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In U.S. security and intelligence parlance, a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF; pronounced "skiff") is an enclosed area within a building that is used to process Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) level classified information. Access to SCIFs is limited, and all of the activity and conversation inside is presumed restricted from public disclosure. A SCIF can also be located in a mobile configuration and can be deployed using air, ground or maritime resources.
The physical construction, access control, and alarming of the facility is defined under Director of Central Intelligence Directive (DCID) 6/9, and was previously specified through DCID 1/21. The computers running within this facility must operate under rules set forth in DCID 6/3. Computers and telecommunication equipment within must fall within the TEMPEST emanations specification.
SCI information is usually only briefed, discussed, and stored in an accredited SCI facility. Moreover, programs handled under the SCI paradigm are normally not publicly acknowledged by the U.S. government.
There are SCIFs in the U.S. Capitol, where members of the U.S. Congress are briefed on military secrets. In U.S. nuclear labs, computers that store weapons data are housed inside SCIFs. Components of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, such as the new National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC) at Ft Detrick, MD, are or will be SCIFs.
Source: (www.en.wikipedia.org) 2007