I got email from Andrew Yeomans from about my ideas in my recent Blog posts - Information Classification Like Creative Commons. (Part 1 and Part2)
I came up with the idea myself but it seems that I was beaten to it by a group called SPIDER in a document available on the 'net here [pdf].
They discuss using graphics as opposed to words to describe what classification a document is. I just took it a bit further by using "creative commons" for icons. But my idea is a bit more important than that. For this to be truly useful the icons used must be instantly recognizable. Anyone who uses the Internet for some time and is involved in publishing even non-professionally will be able spot creative commons icons, know what they mean and know what it means to them. And then abide by them. It would be useful for us to have icons that can do the same for sensitive documents.
I also took it one step further. I proposed the idea of including direction of what technology could be used with documents. So, if it is a "top secret financial document" then you may/may not email the document and there will be an "email permitted/not permitted" icon as the case may be.
Andrew commented that this may be a problem the way that technology moves forward but I believe it to be a good start. It may be better (in future) to have some "meta-mechanism" that automatically adds the icons in as technology is adopted or documents change levels of confidentiality.
It is nice to get some serious comments and I hope to hear more. It makes me think through my posts and tweak them. Hopefully, somewhere down the line it will add to the world's knowledge.