Secrecy and how it affects our world

Secrecy is a big issue that affects all of us and the future of our planet. For example, if I invented an engine that runs on water, it would quickly be stamped ‘Top Secret’ and disappeared. I would be forbidden to talk about or develop my own invention. This kind of thing happens regularly.My fictitious invention may be be passed on (sold) to a corporation where it would be developed for the military, or for sale, or just buried. I would probably never be acknowledged as the inventor, nor see any royalties. I may or may not personally survive this process. You have to understand that an invention like an engine that runs on water would change the world. Poor countries would soon become prosperous. The balance of power in the world would change dramatically.

If for some reason an important or ‘World Changing’ invention slips by the ‘Top Secret’ criteria, it will quickly be stolen. I have seen these things happen with my own eyes. If, for example, I invented an effective $1.oo cure for cancer, I would never be allowed to release it. This invention would cost some big corporations trillions of dollars a year. This is not evil and the corporations involved at this level are not evil. This is just business, profit and loss, putting competitors out of business, gaining a competitive edge, maintaining the status quo, etc. RB

Invention Secrecy Still Going Strong

by Steven Aftergood

(Submitted by Frank DeMarco of Hologram Books)

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October 21, 2010

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 the Invention Secrecy Act of 1951, patent applications on new inventions can be subject to secrecy orders restricting their publication if government agencies believe that disclosure would be “detrimental to the national security.”

The current list of technology areas that is used to screen patent applications for possible restriction under the Invention Secrecy Act is not publicly available and has been denied under the Freedom of Information Act.  (An appeal is pending.)  But a previous list dated 1971 and obtained by researcher Michael Ravnitzky is available here (pdf).

Most of the listed technology areas are closely related to military applications.  But some of them range more widely.

Thus, 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%.”

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.

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