AUSTIN, Texas, July 3, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Over 5000 inventions are being suppressed via the US Government's classified patent program, according to official data obtained under a recent Freedom of Information Act request by the Federation of American Scientists. This means literally thousands of potentially ground-breaking inventions and technologies are being withheld from the public.
A new project called FreeTheTech.org based in Austin, Texas is raising awareness of the issue through a variety of means, including a new website, a petition on Change.org and a Billboard fundraising program. Their primary goal is simply to make the public aware that many potentially useful technologies are being suppressed while their secondary goal is to audit the program via a citizen review panel.
What exactly is contained within the government's archive of 5784 classified patents has been the source of rampant speculation for decades. However, a recent leak from the Category List of 1971 finally provides some real-world insight as categories from it include: Power Supply, Meteorology, Propulsion Systems and Unique Materials & Devices. Interestingly, leaked data from the Power Supply section shows that modern-day solar panel technology was being restricted some 50 years ago – as a result one can only imagine what is being suppressed today.
The origin of the government's program is the Invention Secrecy Act of 1951, which evolved invention secrecy from a temporary wartime agenda into a permanent one. As a result, every time a patent is submitted by an inventor today, it can be flagged for review by a multitude of government agencies and all it takes is a single opinion by one of them to keep the invention from ever seeing the light of day.
Patents can be restricted not only for being a national security threat but also for disrupting economic stability as well. This means that any number of potentially ground-breaking inventions that challenge the status quo may be restricted and suppressed. FreeTheTech.org's aim is to finally end all the speculation by forming a Citizen Review Panel consisting of both experts and general citizens alike to independently yet privately review all classified patents in order to yield greater transparency and accountability.
"While promoting our Campaign on Facebook," says project founder Benjamin Cohen, "we've had numerous users assume we're spreading false information due to their own lack of research into this subject matter. While we certainly understand their initial skepticism, the fact remains that this data comes directly from the government itself." Cohen points to the US Patent and Trademark Office's response letter to FOIA Request# F-18-00003 which reveals updated 2017 data showing the new figure of 5784 patents currently under secrecy orders.
For more information please visit the project's main website at: www.FreeTheTech.org