Never seen a book like this before, and based on the bibliography at the end there haven’t been any written similar to it- only 140 pages without the endnotes, check it out
The perceived tension between national security and open innovation is actually a tension between secrecy and open innovation because of the assumption that national security and secrecy are inseparable… It is imperative that there be a genuine discussion about whether such secrecy truly serves the underlying national security interests.
An infographic you might find interesting
To put it into perspective, DARPA, the–at least alleged (who the fuck knows what to believe)–cutting-edge innovation engine among these, has a yearly budget of 3.5 billion.
And who’s in charge of declassifying information about these secret technologies? Ultimately the President. That’s been the protocol since 1940.
“Top Secret” is “applied to information, the unauthorized disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security”; “Secret” applies to information whose disclosure could cause “serious damage” to national security; and “Confidential” is information whose disclosure could cause “damage” to national security.
Given that CRISPR is the closest thing to potential Übermensch-tek I’m aware of, we’ll go with that example. I speculate that there is probably Top Secret information pertaining to that, that Doudna and her cohort have advised to be kept quiet until they have mastered a reverse-engineering technology in the event that its implementation by citizen-scientists gets out of hand.
Maybe they still have their original goal, that could help us understand their intentions. Sputnik was like the 9/11 of the 1950s, it disturbed the nation’s psyche.
Sputnik’s launch triggered the “Space Race” between the two countries. President John F. Kennedy supported the creation of DARPA (at the time, ARPA), whose founding mission was to “prevent and create strategic surprise.”
Sputnik was the first man-made object launched into orbit, people were afraid that Russia could easily nuke us into oblivion using this technology- that’s where a lot of these covert agencies got their impetus, where all this secrecy started, the nuclear threat of Russia. Now, over 60 years later, someone is writing this book and asking if it’s actually in the best interest of national security to keep so much secret. In other words, is it doing the job it set out to do in the first place anymore? From my perspective, if enhancement-tek exists, which I’ve given you several clues to indicate, it seems like it could only be an advantage for non-DoD, non-government Americans to have access to it. I guess Doudna & Crew disagree. Even the best scientists still have faith in the state-religion. “Oh no, what if Hitlerh89fn34f8349ugs48ht034jgt0345jgh”.
It might take another Sputnik to prompt them in the direction I have in mind.