After March 17, 2020, the Lab’s hand-carry process for delivering documents to derivative classifiers (DCs) for classification review came to a halt, but the need to protect potentially classified content continued as the Lab’s employees worked to meet mission objectives. An urgent solution was needed.

In a collaborative effort, staff from LivIT and Computing, Operations Security, University Relations, Physical and Life Sciences, Operations and Business, and the Office of Classification and Export Control developed a new system—called DC-REV—to virtually automate the unclassified hand-carry process.

DC-REV remotely facilitates the hand-carry process by allowing authors to upload and direct their documents to the appropriate DC for review. It establishes a virtual desktop where DCs perform reviews, provide comments, and give review status updates.

“Because of the nature of DC-REV, which allows material to be uploaded prior to its classification review, the team had to figure out how to encrypt and isolate stored data, identify containment procedures, and set up virtual desktops and tools that would allow DC reviewers to evaluate documents while offsite,” says Digital Experience and Search Developer Jeff Hillier.

Hillier’s colleague David Frye, LivIT Workforce Enablement systems architect, describes several additional hurdles to get DC-REV off the ground. “We had to design a disposable desktop computing environment to ensure that no user-generated content would persist between user sessions and develop a ‘secure delete’ capability for handling review artifacts at user log-off,” says Frye. “We also added a unique, powerful second layer of security involving decryption.

In its first year, DC-REV received 4,708 submissions from over 1,300 authors, and its developers anticipate that it will continue to be used well into the future.

“This important solution was built from the ground up in just three weeks. It was urgent, time sensitive, and its multiple layers of data assurance fulfill a critical Lab need,” says Hillier.