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Classified Material Conversion (CMC)

Welcome to the NSA Classified Material Conversion (CMC) web page!

The CMC is responsible for the declassification and processing of classified material in support of NSA elements, Government Agencies, and U.S. Military entities.

Acceptance of classified material items from Contractor entities is contingent on the specific contractor entity having a current contract with U.S. Government Agencies or U.S. Military entities where Government Furnished Equipment (GFE) is provided. The CMC will make the final determination on acceptance of any material item sent to our facility.

Destruction is accomplished through standard industrial conversion or destruction processes using numerous recycling and reclamation procedures in strict accordance with environmental, safety and security standards.

To properly ensure the secure collection, destruction and conversion of classified material, the following information and guidelines should be reviewed. Please keep in mind that there are only two categories of classified material destruction: paper and special burn.

  1. PAPER ITEMS: Paper is declassified by mixing with water and converted into pulp for recycling. No incineration is involved in the declassification process. The definition of Water-soluble is material that will break down and dissolve when mixed with water. Material items not meeting this criterion are defined as “Special Burn” items.
  2. SPECIAL BURN ITEMS: Following are examples of material items defined as Special Burn:
    1. Aluminum Products: Hard Drives Disks, Reels, etc.
    2. Blackberry Devices
    3. Cell Phones and Smart Phones
    4. Circuit Boards:Remove frames and COMSEC chips. Please label and package the COMSEC chips separately.
    5. CD ROM's:Remove CD ROM’s from their storage case. Storage cases are not accepted unless they contain classification stickers and markings that are ingrained in the case.
    6. COMSEC ChipsPlease package separately and label.
    7. Disk Packs: Please disassemble and remove from the plastic enclosure.
    8. Hard Drives: Must be in the original condition as received from the manufacturer. Remove all mounting bracketing, framing, protruding screws, backing plates and circuit boards. Scrape off or eradicate all classification markings.
    9. Miscellaneous Items: Floppy disks, film products, data tapes (minus the aluminum casing and backing plates), microfiche, Mylar tape, viewgraphs, magnetic cards, memory chips, RAM, KOV cards, KSD- 21’s and KSD-64’s.
    10. Identification Cards: CAC cards.

For additional information, reference the listings of Accepted and Unaccepted Material Items from the CMC Required Procedures document

ALL CMC CUSTOMERS: As with any process dealing with classified materials, there are specific procedures that must be followed. Please review thoroughly the CMC Receipt for Destruction and CMC Required Procedures documents before sending or delivering materials to the CMC. Links for access to these documents are found at the top of the page in the box with the heading “CMC.”

Keep in mind that the CMC accepts only classified materials for destruction. Unclassified materials are not accepted unless they contain Personnel Identifiable Information (PII) or direct and only direct NSA information.

Questions can be directed to the CMC Customer Service Office on 301-688-6672 or via e-mail at


Date Posted: Jan 12, 2009 | Last Modified: Oct 30, 2013 | Last Reviewed: Oct 30, 2013