Scientific Communication and National Security 1 (known as the Corson report after its chairman, Dale R. Corson), released in September 1982, laid the basis for the development in 1985 of National Security Decision Directive 189, which restated the importance to the national interest of maintaining open communication of "fundamental" research within the constraints imposed by security classification or other existing law.
At the time of its report, the Corson panel indicated that there was another major dimension to the export control problem, which it did not have the opportunity or mandate to examine in depth—namely, that of technology transferred as part of or in association with commercial activities. In 1985, COSEPUP undertook this second study, when it appointed the Panel on the Impact of National Security Controls on International Technology Transfer, chaired by Lew Allen, Jr. The report of this study, Balancing the National Interest: U.S. National Security Export Controls and Global Economic Competition (known as the Allen report), was released in January 1987.2 The Allen report stated clearly for the first time that it was necessary to take account of U.S. economic vitality and competitiveness in formulating export controls on strategic technology, and it urged that U.S. policy move toward complete multilateralization of the formulation and implementation of export control policy.
Most recently, the National Research Council's Computer Science and Technology Board established a committee to assess trends in computer science and technology as they affect and are affected by export controls. From that assessment came the report Global Trends in Computer Technology and Their Impact on Export Control,3 released in December 1988, which made recommendations for export control based on the committee's conclusions about the intrinsic controllability of computer technologies and the interplay among controls, technology development, and prospects for the U.S. computer industry.
In response to the current congressional request, COSEPUP established the Panel on the Future Design and Implementation of U.S. National Security Export Controls. The composition of the panel was the result of a careful search by the presidents of the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering designed to ensure a panel with balance, depth of expertise, and objectivity. The panel included many individuals who have had substantial experience in government at the most senior levels pertaining to national security affairs, a number of others who have held senior posts in or contributed advice to the intelligence community, and still others who possess substantial legal expertise from work on strategic trade issues. Many others hold (or have held) leadership positions in high-technology industries. Three members of the panel also served on the earlier Allen panel.
The congressional request also called for the Academies to examine the impact of any recommended conceptual approach to export controls in several