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Pre-Publication Review

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U.S. government Edit

The U.S. federal government exercises pre-publication review of some privately published scientific and technical information by current and former employees and contractors who worked for federal agencies and who had access to classified information. For instance, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued the following guidance to employees regarding pre-publication review:

In order to protect against the unauthorized disclosure of classified information, you are required to submit for security review any material intended for public release that might be based in any way on information you learned through your access to classified information. This requirement covers all written materials, including technical papers, books, articles, and manuscripts. It also includes lectures, speeches, films, videotapes. It includes works of fiction as well as non-fiction.

Pre-publication review controls for research and development information may be written into federal government contracts. Typically the Department of Defense (DoD) includes “pre-publication review” clauses in government contracts for extramural research that allow DoD to review research generated extramurally with federal support before it is published. These controls are used if classified information was used in research or when the government seeks to prohibit release of information deemed sensitive because of the way it is aggregated.

An agreement was initiated in 1980 with the American Council on Education for all academic cryptography research to be submitted on a voluntary basis for pre-publication review to the federal government’s National Security Agency. Related to this, the U.S. Government may enter into contracts to purchase exclusive rights to commercial satellite imagery and has the ability to stop the collection and dissemination of commercial satellite imagery for national security reasons.

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