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Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future
the best S&T to help counter terrorism and other national-security threats, even though this may mean accepting some limitations on its work. However, there is concern that some of the policies on scientific communication enacted in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks and the anthrax mailings and others under consideration will undermine the strength of science in the United States without genuinely advancing security. Various organizations, including the National Academies, have offered recommendations to address these concerns:
Continue to support the principle set forth in National Security Decision Directive 189 that federally funded fundamental research, such as that conducted in universities and laboratories, should “to the maximum extent possible” be unrestricted.
Create a clearly defined regulatory “safe harbor” for fundamental research so that universities in particular can have confidence that activities within the safe harbor are in compliance, thus permitting a focus on whatever occurred outside the safe harbor.
Regularly review and update the lists of information and technologies subject to controls maintained by federal agencies with the goal of restricting the focus of the controls and removing controls on readily available technologies. Carry out the process across as well as within agencies, and include input from the S&T community.
With regard to the specific issue of “deemed exports,” do not change the current system of license requirements for use of export-controlled equipment in university basic research until the following steps have been implemented:
Greatly narrow the scope of controlled technologies requiring deemed-export licenses, and ensure that the list remains narrow going forward.
Delete all controlled technology from the list whose manuals are available in the public domain, in libraries, on the Internet, or from the manufacturers.
Delete all equipment from the list that is available for purchase on the open market overseas from foreign or US companies.
Clear international students and postdoctoral fellows for access to controlled equipment when their visas are issued or shortly thereafter so that their admission to a university academic program is coupled with their access to use of export-controlled equipment.
Undertake a systematic review to determine the number and provisions of all existing types of “sensitive but unclassified” information in the federal government. Using that baseline, require a further review and justification for the maintenance of any category. Tie remaining categories to an explicit statutory or regulatory framework that includes procedures to request access to information and appeal decisions.