Major independent advisors of the American government that deal with the issues of science, medicine and technology set out their objections pertaining to the restriction of free access to scientific information. Governmental advisors were concerned about Bush’s measures to shut down the free access to the scientific information, especially on the world wide web.
The White House and federal agencies asked scientists to eliminate or block the access to the information, which could be accessed freely before. This was requested by the government after September 11th attacks on the US.
The presidents of the National Academy of Sciences, of the National Technical Academy, of the Institute of Medicine sent an open letter to American President George Bush. In the letter they tried to convince the president that there should be a balance between the two needs – the need for security and the need for access.
Bush’s motives are understandable. The American government does not want cyber-terrorists to use the Internet for striking the United States. Those terrorists have recently hacked the website of the US State Department, by the way.
Richard Clarke, special adviser to the president for cyberspace security stated that cyber-terrorists might gain access to major life support systems of the USA, as well as flight control services and nuclear power plants.
Richard Clarke said that he was certain that those attempts had already been made. The adviser also pointed out that no country was exposed of using the web for subversive activities against the USA yet. However, he added that an Internet attack on the USA was practically inevitable. Al-Qaida has recently announced its cyber Jihad, for instance. Such a statement will definitely bring more spending on security and close access to something. The world wide web is being cut to pieces for the sake of one noble goal – the national security.
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov