Invention Secrecy "Still Going Strong"

Friday, October 29, 2010

Mainstream organisation FAS - The Federation Of American Scientists has reported that the secrecy surrounding inventions is "still going strong".

The report reveals that: "There were 5,135 inventions that were under secrecy orders at the end of Fiscal Year 2010, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office told Secrecy News last week. It’s a 1% rise over the year before, and the highest total in more than a decade."

Under section 181-188 of the "Invention Secrecy Act of 1951" patents that are deemed to be "detrimental to the national security" can be denied by a secrecy order that interupts the normal patent process.

The important question that we need to ask here is: "What types of inventions are on the list and who decides what is detrimental?

The vast majority of secrecy orders are for inventions that have a military or weapons application and there is no doubt that they would be legitimately "detrimental to the national security". Fair enough.

However, the real concern as has been shown from a 1971 report obtained under Freedom Of Information is that there are secrecy orders for inventions that are particularly energy efficient. This is of particular concern. Why are more energy efficient inventions that could have prevented the recent Gulf Of Mexico disaster and save the lives of millions of people deemed a national security risk?

"The 1971 list indicates that patents for solar photovoltaic generators were subject to review and possible restriction if the photovoltaics were more than 20% efficient. Energy conversion systems were likewise subject to review and possible restriction if they offered conversion efficiencies “in excess of 70-80%.”

Should the question perhaps be "Are more energy efficient inventions a risk to the profiteering of the corporate syndicates, Wall St bankers and energy cartels?" - In which case the answer is a clearcut - YES!.

The article concludes: "One may fairly ask if disclosure of such technologies could really have been “detrimental to the national security,” or whether the opposite would be closer to the truth. One may further ask what comparable advances in technology may be subject to restriction and non-disclosure today. But no answers are forthcoming, and the invention secrecy system persists with no discernible external review."

1971 List Of Categories Under Secrecy Orders

Invention Secrecy Act 1951 (Section 181-188)

Full Article by FAS - Federation Of American Scientists



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