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"Sensitive But Unclassified" and Other Federal Security Controls on Scientific and Technical Information: History and Current Controversy

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Citation Edit

Genevieve J. Knezo, "Sensitive But Unclassified" and Other Federal Security Controls on Scientific and Technical Information: History and Current Controversy (CRS Report RL31845) (Feb. 20, 2004) (full-text).

Overview Edit

The U.S. Government has always protected scientific and technical information that might compromise national security. Since the 2001 terrorist attacks, controls have been widened on access to information and scientific components that could threaten national security. The policy challenge is to balance science and security without compromising national security, scientific progress, and constitutional and statutory protections.

This report summarizes (1) provisions of the Patent Act of 1952, as amended; Atomic Energy Act; International Traffic in Arms Regulations; the USA PATRIOT Act, Pub. L. No. 107-56; the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002, Pub. L. No. 107-188; and the Homeland Security Act, Pub. L. No. 107-296, that permit governmental restrictions on either privately generated or federally owned scientific and technical information that could harm national security; (2) the evolution of federal concepts of “sensitive but unclassified” (SBU) information; (3) controversies about pending Department of Homeland Security guidance on federal SBU and “Sensitive Homeland Security Information” (SHSI); and (4) policy options.

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