Scientific Freedom, National Security, and the First Amendment

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Science  12 Aug 1983:
Vol. 221, Issue 4611, pp. 620-624
DOI: 10.1126/science.221.4611.620


The Supreme Court may soon be asked to decide an important issue of First Amendment law arising from the government's efforts to restrict the dissemination of "militarily critical" technological knowledge. To resolve the issue, the Court will first determine whether technological knowledge qualifies for a full measure of protection under the free-speech clause of the First Amendment. The Court will then address the government's stated justification for restricting the contested information. This inquiry will evaluate both the gravity of the asserted danger to national security and the likelihood of its occurrence.