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Traffic light protocol

The traffic light protocol (TLP) is a set of designations used to ensure that sensitive information is shared with the correct audience.

It employs four colours to indicate different degrees of sensitivity and the corresponding sharing considerations to be applied by the recipient(s).

Red

When should it be used?

Sources may use TLP: RED when information cannot be effectively acted upon by additional parties, and could lead to impacts on a party's privacy, reputation, or operations if misused.

How may it be shared?

Recipients may not share TLP: RED information with any parties outside of the specific exchange, meeting, or conversation in which it is originally disclosed.

Amber

When should it be used?

Sources may use TLP: AMBER when information requires support to be effectively acted upon, but carries risks to privacy, reputation, or operations if shared outside of the organisations involved.

How may it be shared?

Recipients may only share TLP: AMBER information with members of their own organisation who need to know, and only as widely as necessary to act on that information.

Green

When should it be used?

Sources may use TLP: GREEN when information is useful for the awareness of all participating organisations as well as with peers within the broader community or sector.

How may it be shared?

Recipients may share TLP: GREEN information with peers and partner organisations within their sector or community, but not via publicly accessible channels.

White

When should it be used?

Sources may use TLP: WHITE when information carries minimal or no foreseeable risk of misuse, in accordance with applicable rules and procedures for public release.

How may it be shared?

TLP: WHITE information may be distributed without restriction, subject to copyright controls.

Using TLP

The source of any information to be handled according to TLP should label the information with the correct TLP colour to indicate how widely that information may be disseminated. This is usually done by including 'TLP: [Colour]' in unambiguous text in the header and footer of the document. If a recipient needs to share the information more widely than indicated by the original TLP designation, they must refer back to the original source.