WASHINGTON—A quiet battle is being waged here to win control over certain types of unclassified information, including scientific data, despite the Reagan administration’s decision earlier this year not to broaden such control.

The decision last March not to create a new category of “sensitive hut unclassified” information has not stopped the Pentagon’s National Security Agency from continuing to set policies for defining and protecting classified information. Nor has the administration revised the policy directive that gives NSA the lead role in such an effort. At the same time, a new report from the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment questions whether “a defense agency should control matters that are central to civilian interests.”

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