Scientific Communication and National Security in 1984

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Science  04 May 1984:
Vol. 224, Issue 4648, pp. 460-466
DOI: 10.1126/science.224.4648.460


The federal government's concern about maintaining the lead of the United States over the Soviet Union and its allies in militarily critical technology has led it to attempt to control unwanted technology transfer. Its attempts have extended to control of open scientific communication as well as the transfer of physical devices and blueprints. In 1982, the Corson Panel (an independent ad hoc committee) reviewed the evidence on the costs and benefits of controls and suggested guiding principles for government policy. This article examines the major policy developments since the Corson Panel completed its work. The stringency and the reach of government restrictions, either proposed or in force, go considerably beyond the panel's recommendations.