Balancing Scientific Publication and National Security Concerns: Issues for Congress
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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The federal government has historically supported the open publication of federally funded research results. In cases where such results presented a challenge to national security concerns, several mechanisms have been employed. For fundamental research results, the federal policy has been to use classification to limit dissemination. For advanced technology and technological information, a combination of classification and export and anus trafficking regulation has been used to inhibit its spread. The terrorist attacks of 2001 have increased security of nonconventional weapons, including weapons of mass destruction, and publication of some research results have increased concerns over whether publication of federally funded extramural research results could threaten national security. The current federal policy, as described in National Security Decision Directive 189, is that fundamental research should remain unrestricted and that in the rare case where it is necessary to restrict such information, classification is the appropriate mechanism. Other nonmechanisms restrict international information flow, such as Export Administration Regulations EAR and International Traffic in Arms Regulations ITAR that control export of items is and technical information on specific lists. Both EAR and ITAR do not apply to sharing fundamental research results, so long as they are not subject to any governmental prepublication review.
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