Protection of Security-Related Information
CRS Rept. for Congress
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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The terrorist attacks of September 11 prompted a reevaluation of how to balance public access to information with the need for safety and security. The accumulation of confidential business information from owners and operators of the nations critical infrastructures, 85 of which is reportedly owned by the private sector, continues to be an important component of homeland security efforts. Critical infrastructure sectors have been defined to include information technology telecommunications chemicals transportation systems including mass transit, aviation, man time, groundsurface, and rail and pipeline systems emergency services postal and shipping agriculture and food public health and health care drinking water and water treatment systems energy, including oil and gas and electric power banking and finance the defense industrial base and national monuments and icons. The Freedom of Information Act of 1974 FOIA along with other statutes and regulations provide legal authorities for the protection of various types of security-related information. Nevertheless, some owners and operators are hesitant to voluntarily share security-related information with the government because of the possible disclosure of this information to the public. To prohibit public disclosure of security-related infoinformation under the Freedom of Information Act and other laws, ConCongress has drafted and passed legislation designed to remove legal obstacles to infoinformation sharing. The Aviation and Transportation Security Act of 2001 ATSA the Critical Infrastructure information Act of 2002 in section 214 of the Homeland Security Act the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 MTSA and the Safe Drinking Water Act SDWA, as amended by the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002, each exempt certain types of security-related information from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.
- Information Science
- Sociology and Law
- Civil Defense