A VERY difficult issue

With the exeption of a few libertarians, no-one has ever advocated completely free speech. Libel, for instance, has always been actionable. So one could in the case below reasonably argue for the complete destruction of any of the knowledge referred to. As it is, some sort of reasonable compromise seems to be in the works but information could still leak out and get into the wrong hands

I think a libertarian compromise would be to enable a mass vaccination against the new virus and then do a full release of the information
The US government has asked the scientific journals Nature and Science to censor data on a laboratory-made version of bird flu that could spread more easily to humans, fearing it could be used as a potential weapon.

The US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity asked the two journals to publish redacted versions of studies by two research groups that created forms of the H5N1 avian flu that could easily jump between ferrets - typically considered a sign the virus could spread quickly among humans.

The journals are objecting to the request, saying it would restrict access to information that might advance the cause of public health.

The request was a first for the expert panel, formed after a series of anthrax attacks on US targets in 2001. It advises the Department of Health and Human Services and other federal agencies about "dual use" research that could serve public health but also be a potential bioterror threat.

The National Institutes of Health funded the two research labs' work to see how the virus could become more transmissible in humans, with the aim of getting early insight to contain threats to public health. The NSABB wants to keep this information from falling into the wrong hands.

But the NIH said the government was working out how to allow secure access to the information to those with a legitimate need to see it.

"It is essential for public health that the full details of any scientific analysis of flu viruses be available to researchers," the editor in chief of Nature, Dr Philip Campbell, said in a statement.


There are some reports that the cat is out of the bag already

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