Created: 3/13/1950

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Soviet efforts to prevent US collection of overt intelligence Information

Statement of the Problem:

To estimate to what degree the Soviet Union and the Satellites may have intensified daring the last six months their efforts to prevent US collection of overt intelligence Information, with particular reference to published material.


ere has been an increasingly definite trend toward restricting the quantity and quality of Soviet and Satellite books and periodicals furnished to this country (and, apparently, toublications thus restricted have usually been technics, economic, and military. The trend has grown considerably during the past six months, tnhe Soviet publicationsf US Embassy Moscow's subscriptions to periodicals. In the past two months,ore US Embassy subscriptionsotal ofublications cot off lamonth period. University libraries and research centers in the US have also been stringently cut in the amount of published material they are receiving from me Soviet orbit. Harvard University Library and the Russian Research Center report that they are currently deniederiodicals obtainable last year. Fulfillment of Library of Congress orders (arranged informallyas also become increasingly erratic.

Note: This memorandum has not been coordinated with the intelligence organizations of the Departments of State, Army, Navy, and the

Air Force.

There hasreater restriction of publications which provide information on the iron and steel, railroad, chemical, petroleum, and production equipment industries. There has alsoarked dlmu-nition of financial and foreign trade statistics sinceewer figures on crop acreages and yields are now being published. Inthereefinite trend away from material covering the national, as opposed to purely local, aspects of tbe Soviet economy. For instance, In contrast to previous practice, no reports were published by theStatistical Administration at the end of the fourth quarter9 on the failures of Soviet industry to fulfill production plans of specific items. The publications which are still available to the West usually contain less factual technical material than heretofore. They devote more space to general matters and less to industrial statistics and data. Satellite publications are adopting the established Soviet practice of describing alleged production increases in percentage figures.

The progressive restriction of publications to the DS is inwith toe following developments in tha Soviet orbit: (a) the adoption of broad security decrees; (b) the prosecution of nationals andfor alleged espionage and sabotage;estriction on movement and activities of accredited US diplomaticndore militant tone of anti-US and anti-Western propaganda.

* The restriction on travel has been most stringent in the USSR and the Balkans and least stringent In Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary, although the trend toward increased restrictions is evident in the latter countries.

CIA regards this tendency toward restrictive action as part of the general Soviet drive toward greater security by restricting the US to publications whose propaganda, value to the Soviet Union outweighs their intelligence value to the US. CIA believes that the rapid increase in the tempo of this trend pointsoordinated Moscow-directed drive to deny virtually all overt information of substantial intelligence value to tbe US.

Original document.

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