from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2017, Issue No. 81
November 16, 2017

Secrecy News Blog:


A compilation of online documents and databases related to cybersecurity is presented by the Congressional Research Service in Cybersecurity: Cybercrime and National Security Authoritative Reports and Resources, November 14, 2017:

Other new and updated publications from CRS include the following.

A Primer on U.S. Immigration Policy, November 14, 2017:

Defense Primer: Department of Defense Maintenance Depots, CRS In Focus, November 7, 2017:

Potential Effects of a U.S. NAFTA Withdrawal: Agricultural Markets, November 13, 2017:

State Exports to NAFTA Countries for 2016, CRS memorandum, n.d., October 24, 2017:

Membership of the 115th Congress: A Profile, updated November 13, 2017:

Drought in the United States: Causes and Current Understanding, updated November 9, 2017:

Impact of the Budget Control Act Discretionary Spending Caps on a Continuing Resolution, CRS Insight, November 14, 2017:

Saudi Arabia: Background and U.S. Relations, updated November 14, 2017:

Jordan: Background and U.S. Relations, updated November 14, 2017:

The Latest Chapter in Insider Trading Law: Major Circuit Decision Expands Scope of Liability for Trading on a "Tip", CRS Legal Sidebar, November 14, 2017:

In Any Way, Shape, or Form? What Qualifies As "Any Court" under the Gun Control Act?, CRS Legal Sidebar, November 14, 2017:

Generalized System of Preferences: Overview and Issues for Congress, updated November 14, 2017:

Trade Promotion Authority (TPA): Frequently Asked Questions, updated November 14, 2017:

The Article V Convention to Propose Constitutional Amendments: Current Developments, November 15, 2017:


A total of 5,784 patent applications remained subject to invention secrecy orders at the end of Fiscal Year 17, according to new data provided by the US Patent and Trademark Office.

The secrecy orders, issued under the Invention Secrecy Act of 1951, restrict disclosure of patent applications considered to be "detrimental to national security" if published.

That total number was up slightly from the 5,680 secrecy orders that were in effect a year earlier.

Most existing patent secrecy orders are renewed year after year.

In FY17, there were 132 new secrecy orders that were imposed, and 28 existing orders that were rescinded, according to the US PTO data. There were 39 new "John Doe" orders imposed on private inventors who sought to patent inventions in which the government has no property interest.

Most invention secrecy applies to inventions involving technology relevant to military applications, but the full scope of the invention secrecy program is not described in public documents.


Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists.

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