Publishing Scientific Papers with Potential Security Risks: Issues for Congress [March 18, 2013]   [open pdf - 327KB]

"The federal government generally supports the publication of federally funded research results because wide dissemination may drive innovation, job creation, technology development, and the advance of science. However, some research results could also be used for malicious purposes. Congress, the Administration, and other stakeholders, are considering whether current policies concerning publishing such research results sufficiently balances the potential benefits with the potential harms. The current issues under debate cut across traditional policy areas, involving simultaneous consideration of security, scientific, health, export, and international policy. Because of the complexity of these issues, analysis according to one set of policy priorities may adversely affect other policy priorities. For example, maximizing security may lead to detriments in public health and scientific advancement, while maximizing scientific advancement may lead to security risks. Accounting for such trade-offs may allow policymakers to establish regulatory frameworks that more effectively maximize the benefits from dual-use research while mitigating its potential risks. […] This report describes the underlying controversy, the potential benefits and harms of publishing these manuscripts, the actions taken by domestic and international stakeholders, and options to improve the way research is handled to minimize security concerns."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R42606
Public Domain
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