Friday, 27 February 1987 Washington, DC
NATIONAL POLICY ON THE PROTECTION OF SENSITIVE BUT
The underlying issue is the so-called "aggregate" or "mosaic" concept that argues that a collection of unclassified pieces of information may reveal a pattern that is classified. Security zealots argue that the KGB obtains information less by seducing embassy guards than by clipping from public sources. If these sources are available on electronic databases, it will eliminate the need for a room full of agents with paste pots and scissors. Both NSDD 145, signed by the President, and NTISSP-2, issued by Poindexter, are intended to make life more difficult for the KGB by placing restrictions on access to both government and commercial databases. In testimony for the APS, it was noted that electronic databases will soon supplant conventional libraries as the repository of scientific and technical information, and will become the preferred means by which scientists communicate their findings. Already, abstracts of physics journal articles are available on the SPIN database of the AIP, which is carried on the commercial DIALOG system. AIP also operates Pi-NET, among the files of which are advance abstracts of physics articles. Any attempt to impede access to such systems threatens the basis of our scientific vitality.
. GEORGE H. VINEYARD, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE AMERICAN PHYSICAL
SOCIETY, DIED ON 21 FEBRUARY,
Bob Park can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND