Controlling Scientific Information

July 9, 1982

Report Outline
Federal Restraints at Issue
Attempts to Strike a Balance
Special Focus

Federal Restraints at Issue

Keeping U.S. ‘High Tech’ from Russia

The U.S. government has become increasingly concerned that advanced technology being developed and used by Western countries is finding its way to the Soviet Union and especially Soviet weaponry. While there is evidence that this is, indeed, happening, the government's recenteffort to prevent it by controlling the international exchange of scientific information is causing alarm in science, academia and industry. It is also causing problems with America's allies, most notably over a Russian natural gas pipeline to Europe.

Government fears about technology transfer were made public in a 1976 report by the Department of Defense's Defense Science Board. The report, known as the Bucy Report, concluded that the United States was losing its technological and economic lead over its adversaries by giving them information crucial to the development of militarily critical technologies and recommended stricter controls on the flow of information out of the country.

Since then government agencies have claimed authority under existing controls to prevent publication of certain kinds of research and technical data, to bar foreign scholars from university research projects and symposia, and to impose secrecy on inventions related to making and breaking codes. These and similar actions raise complicated questions with far-reaching implications about who should control information in the interests of national security, what should be controlled, and to what extent.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
U.S.-Soviet Relations
Sep. 14, 1990  The Western Alliance After the Cold War
Feb. 10, 1989  Soviet Trade: In America's Best Interest?
Nov. 01, 1985  U.S.-Soviet Summitry
Jul. 09, 1982  Controlling Scientific Information
May 25, 1973  Trends in U.S.-Soviet Relations
Apr. 05, 1972  Russia's Diplomatic Offensive
Feb. 09, 1972  Trading with Communist Nations
Mar. 10, 1971  Indian Ocean Policy
Apr. 21, 1965  Negotiations with Communists
Nov. 13, 1963  Scientific Cooperation with the Soviet Union
Oct. 03, 1963  Trade with the Communists
Sep. 11, 1963  Non-Aggression Pacts and Surprise Attack
Oct. 11, 1961  East-West Negotiations
Mar. 29, 1961  Russia and United Nations
Aug. 10, 1960  Challenged Monroe Doctrine
Sep. 02, 1959  American-Soviet Trade
Jul. 03, 1959  Cultural Exchanges with Soviet Russia
Aug. 11, 1958  Conference Diplomacy
Jul. 23, 1958  Limited War
May 14, 1958  Cold War Propaganda
Feb. 26, 1958  Military Disengagement
Feb. 20, 1957  Indirect Aggression
Jul. 25, 1956  Trading with Communists
Jan. 11, 1956  Economic Cold War
Nov. 26, 1954  Peaceful Coexistence
Dec. 01, 1953  Tests of Allied Unity
Sep. 18, 1953  Negotiating with the Reds
Jun. 17, 1953  East-West Trade
Apr. 12, 1951  Non-Military Weapons in Cold-War Offensive
Apr. 20, 1949  Mediterranean Pact and Near East Security
Apr. 28, 1948  Trade with Russia
Sep. 11, 1946  Loyalty in Government
Jul. 31, 1946  Arctic Defenses
Apr. 01, 1943  American and British Relations with Russia
Feb. 24, 1933  Soviet-American Political and Trade Relations
Nov. 03, 1931  Russian-American Relations
Feb. 14, 1924  Russian Trade with the United States
Military Intelligence
Science and Politics
U.S. at War: Cold War