Science, security and spies

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Series Details Vol.18, No.4, December 2009, p483-500
Publication Date December 2009
ISSN 0966-2839
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The national research and development (R&D) base has in the post-cold war era gained increased importance in order to fill new security demands. There is a broadening of the search for security relevant science and technology involving more organizations and interests, scientific disciplines and nations. The question discussed in this article is if the premises of international, free and open R&D will be(come) compromised? Will we see more scientists, in their normal scientific activities, being accused of spying? The article suggests that such risks are not unrealistic to expect. Spy cases in less democratic countries could have consequences for scientists also in other countries. Outcomes depend on, among other things, the relative strengths of academic freedom and a political Identification Friend and Foe (IFF) component. United Nations and European Union resolutions restricting science education for students from Iran and North Korea in an attempt to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons illustrate a strong IFF component. Difficulties with regard to the implementation of these resolutions and other findings are presented in the final section of the article.

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