'Sensitive But Unclassified' and Other Federal Security Controls on Scientific and Technical Information: History and Current Controversy [Updated April 2, 2003] [open pdf - 233KB]
The U.S. Government has always protected scientific and technical information that might compromise national security. Since the 2001 terrorist attacks, the government has widened controls 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 Law; Atomic Energy Act; International Traffic in Arms Control regulations; the USA PATRIOT Act, P.L. 107- 56; the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002, P.L. 107-188; and the Homeland Security Act, P.L. 107-296, that permit governmental restrictions on either privately generated or federally owned scientific and technical information that could harm national security; (2) evolution of federal definitions for "sensitive but unclassified" (SBU) information; (3) controversies about White House policy directives on federal SBU and "Sensitive Homeland Security Information" (SHSI); and (4) policy options.
CRS Report for Congress, RL31845