To Secure Ports, U.S. Wants Lid on Public Data

Citing the threat of terrorism, federal officials are keeping more information about the security of the nation's seaports secret

"I have not seen real abuses of the system, and I think the balance between secrecy and disclosure has been pretty good," said Carafano, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington.

Carafano, like other analysts, said one key is the vitality of congressional oversight.

"Not everybody needs to see this data about how security is working, but somebody needs to look at it -- and that should be Congress," he added.

The Congressional Research Service, in its analysis of new regulations in June, saw a need to strike a balance:

"The regulations are an attempt to prevent transportation security information from reaching the wrong hands and being used to plan another 9/11 attack."