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Can the US Stop the Illegal Export of Its Technology?

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the not-a-chance dept.

United States 351

coondoggie writes "Maybe people are more desperate or maybe there's just too much opportunity to make a quick buck but whatever the excuse, attempts to illegally export technology from the US has gone through the roof. The Department of Justice this week said it has placed criminal charges or convictions against more than 255 defendants in the past two fiscal years — 145 in 2008 and 110 in 2007. That 255 number represents more than a six-fold increase from fiscal year 2005, when the DOJ said about 40 individuals or companies were convicted of over 100 criminal violations of export control laws."

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We don't export the technology. (5, Funny)

SupremoMan (912191) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563349)

We just outsource the means of producing it en masse. Semantics count people!

Re:We don't export the technology. (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563571)

No. We must simply cut the series of tubes commonly referred to as "the internets" wherever they cross the US border.

Of course, we should only cut the outbound tubes, as we still could use any innovation's that are developed in other countries.

We don't create the technology. (4, Insightful)

gnutoo (1154137) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563691)

We import bright people from around the world to do it for us. At least we used to. Many of them have gone back home to compete on fair terms. Others work at research centers funded by US multinationals like GE, Microsoft and IBM. Why the US seeks to restrict what foreign people make in foreign countries is as much a mystery as the IP Empire that claims ownership to the fundamental ideas involved. Less and less of this stuff is home grown and made.

Re:We don't create the technology. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25564129)

$TFU twitter

Fuck Amerikkkka! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25563351)

Fascist America, in 10 easy steps
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/apr/24/usa.comment [guardian.co.uk]

Re:Fuck Amerikkkka! (0, Flamebait)

Ex-MislTech (557759) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563665)

Why would we want to stop the theft of our technology.

You can't destroy America properly if we keep it !

Both parties have sold us down the river...

First post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25563373)

On my new illegal import from the United States.

11111111 (5, Funny)

Chillintau (1169599) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563375)

Good thing there wasn't another attempt, otherwise the counter would've overflowed.

0xFFFF (5, Funny)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563509)

Good thing there wasn't another attempt, otherwise the counter would've overflowed.

WORD.

Re:0xFFFF (2, Funny)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563959)

Final Jeopardy answer:

WORD.

Final Jeopardy question: What do they need a longer one of?

Re:11111111 (1)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 5 years ago | (#25564035)

They'd better get cracking on the paperwork for another bit for the next biennial period.

Re:11111111 (1)

PaleCommander (1358747) | more than 5 years ago | (#25564133)

Rather than add an extra bit, they should just switch to 2's complement. Who doesn't want the number of defendants to drop to -1?

Excuse? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25563377)

Information wants to be free, my friend, no matter what you and your fascist DoJAA think.

Re:Excuse? (2, Insightful)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563503)

Yeah, and cows don't WANT to be eaten, but they taste good with barbecue sauce...

Similarly, information might "want" to be free, but giving other countries our technology is a stupid move, so it's not going to.

And what the fuck does "Information wants to be free" even mean or justify anyway?

Re:Excuse? (3, Funny)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563541)

Just ignore him, he's a hippie.

Re:Excuse? (0)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563585)

I guess he did just send me an e-mail that said "Dude, chill out! Hey, got any pot or secret weapons technology?"

Re:Excuse? (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563831)

Have you noticed how the original "The DOJ is fascist! Information wants to be free!" hippie got modded "insightful" but everyone else in this thread got modded "troll"?

The "information wants to be free" crowd includes RMS, though he didn't originate the phrase (he has been said to). One of Stallman's philosophies included the philosophy that information is inherently a resource we all have a right to; that security systems to guard the knowledge of how to do anything is in essence offensive, and should not exist. He basically condemns every attempt to protect trade secrets and any sort of technology whatsoever; I don't think he's silly enough to believe personal information should be published, but who is?

This is, essentially, being a hippie. The Big Guverment and Big Corporations want to keep us oppressed with their Big Secrets, but we can do whatever the hell they want and subvert their secrets at every turn! Information wants to be free!

Re:Excuse? (1)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563945)

...security systems to guard the knowledge of how to do anything is in essence offensive, and should not exist.

Did he say anything about what to do when less enlightened dictators use our now open-to-everyone missile technology against us?

Re:Excuse? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25563603)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_wants_to_be_free [wikipedia.org]

It's a really interesting observation that some people turn into ideology.

Re:Excuse? (1)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563793)

That appeared to be talking about the physical costs to getting information out. As in it costs next to nothing to physically post. It does not appear to me to justify at all the sharing of state secrets that can be used against the US. It doesn't mean that there is no way or no reason to keep any information secret or private. ...Of course, the fact that I got modded flamebait tells me something about the mindset of people who subscribe to that ideology.

Re:Excuse? (3, Informative)

e9th (652576) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563623)

Don't confuse information with technology. Most of the prosecutions [usdoj.gov] were for exporting goods, not IP.

Re:Excuse? (1)

boto (145530) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563827)

I think we can generalize it as "people want to be free" (to propagate information, and to do business with whoever they want), then.

Re:Excuse? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25564085)

Yes. Some people want to enter the heroin business. Is it acceptable to place limitations on them?

Re:Excuse? (4, Funny)

gclef (96311) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563811)

...and yet, information hates to be anthromorphized. It's funny that way.

Fascist DOJ? They're freedom fighters for peace! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25563829)

Evil has no border [kk.org] and they'll chase everyone down, because they don't need no stinkin' Constitution as long as a war is declared. War negates all social contracts and bonds to their oaths. War has nothing to do with duty, it is ordered dissociation from civil authority and seizure by minority. What may be known as justice in civil aspect could be looked upon as legalized barbary in military. This is typical in a change of regime for a country.

Go to Google and search for information on all the assassinations of civil-authorized Generals before and after September 11 2001. It is linked to the British Crown having groomed their New World representative Bush and company, to remove the former authorities to install theirs. All you can do is return to the Holy Bible and make pact to nearest kin for successors and accord to good neighbors for fellowship.

Re:Excuse? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25563843)

Unless it's your personal information, in which case it doesn't want to be free. Go figure.

Sounds pretty arbitrary to me.

Stop giving the traitors presidential pardons (5, Insightful)

quenda (644621) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563873)

That might help. [time.com]

Which was the last US government that didn't illegally export arms?

Re:Excuse? (0, Flamebait)

The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563895)

Aah, well then. I expect you'll be manning up within minutes to post your name, address, SSN, and full banking details then.

We'll be waiting.

Re:Excuse? (-1, Flamebait)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563933)

Guess you won't mind if I give out a few pieces of information like your social security number, mothers maiden name, birthdate etc etc. Its only information after all.

Embrace and extend...... (1)

3seas (184403) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563379)

Why worry about losing it when through embrace and extend we don't?

At least until someone yells antitrust.

but... (5, Insightful)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563383)

Isn't it more than a bit arrogant and unrealistic to think the US is the only country with these technologies?
I mean, I know many Americans like to believe the US invented absolutely everything and are ahead of everyone else technologically, but in fact they really didn't and aren't.

Re:but... (4, Funny)

Andr T. (1006215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563481)

I had this idea before you posted it. You thief!

Re:but... (2, Insightful)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563597)

Absolutely not. The laws of physics apply only to Americans.

Re:but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25563821)

Physics? For a while at least we couldn't even "export" mathematics above a certain level due to the restrictions on export of encryption algorithms, not sure if any such restriction still exists or not. Though not ideal, couldn't almost any equation be used as an ecryption method?

Many of the other restrictions were somewhat silly too, especially without clarification in the article. Carbon fiber technology? Best be careful if your firm wants to use a space age fiber to build a toy, car part, cell phone case, etc and subcontract the job outside the US. Telephone equipment? What kind? Could Asterisk or similar fall into the restricted areas? How about your cell phone on a European vacation? No doubt the government has reams of definitions but how definitively are they structured and are you going to need to hire a staff of lawyers to review them carefully before shipping anything over seas including some low priced item you sold on eBay?

Re:but... (2, Insightful)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563745)

Isn't it more than a bit arrogant and unrealistic to think the US is the only country with these technologies?

Maybe not, but remember that our military budget is far larger than any other country's (even if you account for labor rates), meaning that we have the "most toys" because we spend the most on military stuff.
   

Re:but... (1, Insightful)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563995)

Maybe not, but remember that our military budget is far larger than any other country's (even if you account for labor rates), meaning that we have the "most toys" because we spend the most on military stuff.

If I was sarcastic I would reply with "And look at all the good it has done you". Luckily I am not sarcastic. No wait...

I would really really love to know how the world would be today if the US (and hopefully all the others) put all their defense/war budgets into humanitarian/environmental projects instead. I wonder if it really would be a utopia or if it would have fallen into chaos without the threat of such vast arms.

Terminator technology IS a US tech (2, Insightful)

cpghost (719344) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563775)

I mean, I know many Americans like to believe the US invented absolutely everything and are ahead of everyone else technologically, but in fact they really didn't and aren't.

But this [wikipedia.org] is surely a US invented technology... and IMHO nothing to be proud of, as it already caused famines in Africa and, worst of all, was actually designed to lead to just that consequence.

Maybe a few export bans of some US technology like this one wouldn't be so wrong, after all?

Re:Terminator technology IS a US tech (3, Interesting)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563939)

as it already caused famines in Africa

First of all, I don't think it's ever been used commercially - much less "caused a famine".

Second of all, how is it different from selling standard hybrid seeds, where most of the offspring is junk anyway?

GE seed is a trap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25564121)

Monsanto should be terminated! The government has protected them for far too long, since well before they "deliberately" got into genetically modifying seed. If you don't know why the quotes are used there, ask someone in Anniston, Alabama or anyone likewise affected by them.

Things are getting worse in Africa as the governments and "charities" are pushing genetically modified crops more every year and the more natural seeds/crops are disappearing. The genetically modified stuff if overly chemically fertilized produce more if they fall withing suitable rainfall or irrigation ranges, if not the more natural stuff would have produced more. Genetically modified seeds without the chemical fertilizers generally produce far less of a crop then the more natural seeds too. Genetically modified plus heavy chemical fertilizers burn out the land faster and even crop rotation isn't effective enough at letting the land recover.

Of course most of the media articles on this subject will say they need those genetically modified crops to prevent starvation, but if you read enough of them closely enough you will see that the more they use them the more they will have to use them to get anything out of the farmland they have rapidly depleted and that they will have to find more farmland soon. One thing that is helpind slow this to some extent is where they are digging tanks to fish farm in and periodically harvesting the silt etc from the bottom of the tanks and mixing it into the soil.

If that were the case... (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563859)

they would have no need to buy our overpriced crap.

No You Are Wrong (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25563893)

If what you say is true, then these people wouldn't have stolen it from the US, and the receivers would just get it somewhere else. Why get caught if its so available elsewhere?

The fact is the US is the technological leader in the world, and we did invent or perfected most modern technologies today.

Checkmate. I win.
Moderators, please mod down parent, and mod this comment up.

Re:No You Are Wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25563969)

I would have moderated that way if you hadn't ordered me to. Your alpha male over-confidence and attempts at dominance do not work with we introverted geeks online.

Re:No You Are Wrong (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#25564103)

because windows blows the socks off Linux right?
and nobody in Europe thought of adding 1 to 1,099,511,627,776
the iphone was made in america?
modern chips? laptops? computers? cars?

Not saying America doesn't produce anything useful, but you cant really restrict Google searches.

Re:but... (1)

DrBuzzo (913503) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563927)

Absolutely not! It's not unrealistic at all.

The US does not invent ALL technology. A great deal of technology comes from other countries. The US certainly does create a large portion of major technologies. This does not only mean new inventions but also implementation and designs that have been engineered.

So are you saying that the US should allow all of its technical developments to be pirated just because someone else potentially could come up with them independently? It's a lot easier to copy a design than to make a new one, even if you are fully capable.

There are some areas where the US is ahead of the world and we'd like to keep those. Sure there are things we're not on the top of the pack on, but we have no control over who gets that stuff.

There are a limited number of countries that have really really cutting-edge military technologies that are ahead of the rest. The United States, Russia, The UK, Israel and to a lesser (but growing) extent China. We can't keep our enemies from getting Russian stuff or Chinese stuff, but we can at least keep some of the technologies out of their hands.

The US spends a lot of money on R&D for military equipment. We know it will end up being copied by others, just as we copy their stuff from time to time. The object is to try to stay as far ahead and to stretch that lead as long as possible and keep as much lead as possible.

Right now, the US leads the world in fighter aircraft, but the Russians and Chinese are working hard to catch up. The US leads the world in stealth, in anti-missile systems, in large attack submarines and satellite communications.

Meanwhile, the US is slightly behind in small costal submarines to the Germans. We're slightly behind Russia in ballistic missile technology. We're behind a bunch of other countries when it comes to passive radar and possibly to small drones.

Why should we just give up the areas that we do lead in?

Re:but... (1)

The Empiricist (854346) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563937)

Isn't it more than a bit arrogant and unrealistic to think the US is the only country with these technologies?

It's not particularly arrogant or unrealistic to think that the US has developed a particular technology and that many other countries have not developed a competitive technology yet. Technological development takes time and resources. Every country, company, organization, and individual has limited time and resources. Many countries have technologies that are very old. If they can purchase more advanced products and reverse engineering them, then they can save significant research and development costs. If the U.S. can keep such products out of the hands of certain foreign nations, then those foreign nations have to go through similar research and development efforts to try to bridge the technological gap. Of course, the U.S. government and U.S. companies continue their own R&D efforts, which helps to expand the technological gap.

Many of the technologies that are under export control [gpo.gov] are really nasty technologies. Truth is, it would be best if nobody had access to them. One possible benefit of export controls is that, by limiting the potential market for subject technologies, there is less incentive for companies to develop such technologies.

Of course, what the government considers potentially nasty sometimes conflicts with the needs of the public (e.g., strong cryptography). Care should be taken to address such conflicts, but they don't negate the potential value of export control to strengthening national security.

Re:but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25563989)

Hey, we don't think that way over here in the US. After all, we know we didn't invent mud huts, crazy diseases, dictatorships, communism, aqueducts, guns, kings, rockets, torture, or many other things.

Re:but... (1)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25564003)

more importantly, isn't this what free market capitalism is all about? being able to buy/sell whatever you want, turning a profit any way possible? it's a bit hypocritical to espouse free market policies when they benefit us but then denounce such actions when they are perceived as against our own interests.

frankly, i'd be all for the complete cessation of U.S. arms exports of any kind. we've caused enough harm by giving weapons to oppressive regimes like the Indonesians during the genocide in East Timor, or our continued support of Israel's occupation of the West Bank. but this is like going after some small time heroin dealers while continuing to let Big Pharma market their synthetic (and more potent) opiates that are just as dangerous, and that kill more people in many areas than illegal drugs do.

furthermore, it makes no sense to ban the export of encryption algorithms or non-weapon-related nuclear technology. scientific/technological progress doesn't occur in a vacuum. no matter which country a scientific discovery is made in, it is made on top of a foundation built by other scientists and thinkers that came before. the free exchange of information between individuals and cultures is what has propelled humanity from our primitive origins to the advanced societies that we have become. to deny others what we have benefited so greatly from is not only hypocritical and small, but it's incredibly selfish.

but regardless of what kind of policies we decide to adopt on the regulation of trade, at the very least we need to be self-consistent. we can't advocate free trade and a laissez-faire economy in one sphere, but then contradict ourselves in another. so if the neocons that make our foreign policy want to regulate what they consider "sensitive" exports, then maybe they should admit to themselves that the unbridled capitalism they tout as the solution to all social problems isn't such a sound philosophy after all.

Re:but... (1)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#25564011)

Isn't it more than a bit arrogant and unrealistic to think the US is the only country with these technologies?

Well, the article mentions that most of them were bound for Iran, China, or Mexico. China of course likely has some of the technology we're guarding. The other two have technology yeah, and Mexico developing new weapons should not be a big concern in and of itself.

Iran's army, on the other hand, is further behind somewhat technologically, and should not have high-tech weapons. Of course the US has not been responsible or moral with our weapons either, that's the arrogance, but at the end of the day I'd rather FEWER violent governments have powerful weapons than more.

compscigeek (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25563401)

That 255 number represents more than a six-fold increase from fiscal year 2005

I wish that would have been a two or eight fold increase :(

polemics aside... (1)

perlchild (582235) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563413)

Just how much of the difference is the increase in attempts, and how much is the fact that with an election year, some departments have to arrest perpetrators to get funding? I mean it's not like we have an independant verified count of attempted illegal exports...

Re:polemics aside... (1)

marc.andrysco (1173073) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563589)

Department of Justice this week said it has placed criminal charges or convictions against more than 255 defendants in the past two fiscal years -- 145 in 2008 and 110 in 2007. That 255 number represents more than a six-fold increase from fiscal year 2005, when the DOJ said about 40 individuals or companies were convicted of over 100 criminal violations of export control laws.

So, there were 255 defendants charged or convicted for a period of two years. And there were 40 invidivudals/companies convicted in solely 2005. First of all, they are comparing numbers from two years with the numbers of one year. Also, they are comparing being charged or convicted with those who were only convicted. To me, those statistics sound funny.

Re:polemics aside... (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563643)

Just how much of the difference is the increase in attempts, and how much is the fact that with an election year, some departments have to arrest perpetrators to get funding?

I'd go with "increase in attempts"

Most of the time, once you've proved your credentials, all you have to do is sign a piece of paper stating you won't export [export controlled item] and it is yours.

The paperwork gets filed with the government and that is pretty much it.

255 defendants (5, Funny)

DancesWithBlowTorch (809750) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563419)

The Department of Justice this week said it has placed criminal charges or convictions against more than 255 defendants in the past two fiscal years

The true number is actually much higher, but with all the technology going overseas, the feds have to do with 8bit registers.

Badabumm - disssssh. Thanks! I'll be here all week. Try the lamb.

No. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25563435)

No.

And the Answer Is (4, Insightful)

PingPongBoy (303994) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563441)

Yes.

Of course, by legalizing it.

Re:And the Answer Is (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25563659)

I for one would prefer advanced fighter jet technology (i.e. F-22) to stay IN the united states and out of China, Russia, Israel, Iran...etc.

Re:And the Answer Is (4, Interesting)

s_p_oneil (795792) | more than 5 years ago | (#25564065)

I'm going to have to go with AC there. They're not just talking about software. They're talking about physical pieces of military hardware being stolen. And in the case of software, it's military software to run that hardware. If you think it would help to make stealing legal, I wouldn't mind visiting your house to see what you've got that's worth taking. ;-)

Shocking (4, Insightful)

kipin (981566) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563455)

Keep adding additional rules, regulations and laws and people tend to start breaking more laws since more of them exist to break.

I don't get it (1)

Andr T. (1006215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563463)

The illegal exports bound for Iran have involved such items as missile guidance systems, Improvised Explosive Device (IED) components, military aircraft parts, night vision systems and other materials.
...
The firehose of technology flowing overseas isn't the result necessarily of a coordinated effort by a group of terrorists or even governments but rather private-sector businessmen, scientists, students, and academics from overseas are among the most active collectors of sensitive US technology. Most did not initially come to the US with that intent. Instead, after finding that they had access to technology in demand overseas, they engaged in illegal collection to satisfy a desire for profits, acclaim, or patriotism to their home nations, the DOJ stated.

"Hello, airport officer. I'm an Iranian teacher and I'm going back to Iran with this missile guidance system. Ok, right? I'm not a terrorist or something."

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25563543)

> or patriotism to their home nations

Good to hear there were no Dutch involved.

Re:I don't get it (1)

Eudial (590661) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563579)

The illegal exports bound for Iran have involved such items as missile guidance systems, Improvised Explosive Device (IED) components, military aircraft parts, night vision systems and other materials.

Doesn't having specialized components for improvised explosives sort of kill the whole point with improvised explosives? I thought improvised explosives was the whole MacGyver deal, where you build an ICBM out of some shoelaces, pen sharpener shavings and a paper clip.

Re:I don't get it (1)

RoboRay (735839) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563731)

I think you're also going to need some chewing gum to hold your ICBM together.

Re:I don't get it (1)

scrod98 (609124) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563983)

When they say 'IED components', they are talking about microchips that can be used as timers or remote detonator circuits. This is the difficult part, you could be exporting parts for a middle-eastern version of tickle me elmo, but if that same part is 'dual use' you, the exporter, are screwed.

Re:I don't get it (1)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25564075)

maybe they were importing 10,000 Casio watches [boingboing.net] and 10 kilotons of fertilizer?

How many of those exports (5, Interesting)

overshoot (39700) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563497)

were commodities readily available elsewhere but restricted, like standard cryptographic algorithms, from export from the USA -- even if they were originally imported?

Re:How many of those exports (3, Informative)

Watson Ladd (955755) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563591)

Since Bernstein sued crypto can be exported without restriction.

Re:How many of those exports (5, Informative)

scrod98 (609124) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563875)

Not true - US Bureau of Industry and Security still requires that encryption software export is controlled (15CFR774). We have applied for and received several license exemptions, but still must report our exports of our software that includes blowfish twice per year, to the actual addresses each shipment is sent.

Is it for real? (4, Insightful)

spaceyhackerlady (462530) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563501)

Is this spike for real, or is it the result of increased enforcement efforts?

...laura

Re:Is it for real? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25563757)

Guys I found a girl! There's a GIRL HERE !!! Get here asap to see what girls look like before she runs away in terror !!!

Re:Is it for real? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25563861)

You get yo dick wet?

Re:Is it for real? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25564039)

You get yo dick wet?

Probably not. The last time I checked, /.'ers don't tend to take baths.

Re:Is it for real? (1)

FlyingGuy (989135) | more than 5 years ago | (#25564043)

It is more then likely a push by the HSA to continue to justify their existence

So much of the heavy encryption stuff is Open Source that it is pretty much all over the world, and with the Air Force sending Nuclear Initiators to Taiwan you can be pretty sure all that stuff is pretty much available.

It could also be items that are pretty bleeding edge that the knowledge of is not in general circulation yet. Hell for 10 years after I got out of the Navy, I could not even export myself to a non-Nato country. I applied for a Visa to go to Czechoslovakia 6 years post service, and got a knock on my door.

Some of it I can understand the NSA, CIA and their like getting twitchy about but most of it, I don't see their point.

Re:Is it for real? (1)

Cosmic AC (1094985) | more than 5 years ago | (#25564113)

You should ask this guy [slashdot.org]

Not necessarily nefarious... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25563527)

Keep in mind that export control violations aren't necessarily nefarious. Working for a defense contractor which also did business abroad gave me the impression that the vast majority of violations came from sloppiness, disorganization, or plain human error. Item not known to be controlled; documents, facts, or figures accidentally given in presentations; or something simply slipping out in casual conversations lead to many export control cases.

Exporting DRM (2, Insightful)

cpghost (719344) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563549)

Where, oh where is the DoC and DoJ when it comes to forbidding the export of this abomination called DRM?

Balance of Trade, Anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25563563)

The U.S. Imports significantly more than it exports; in order to maintain any degree of economic power in the world, it has to export *something*, and logically, that will be whatever the U.S. has the most competitive advantage in, vis-a-vis technology.

What about the net import in technical expertise ? (4, Insightful)

giorgist (1208992) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563567)

The cost of educating a person is very high.
What of the net import in technical expertise ?
Often some of the very best students go to US, and end up staying and doing high end re-search.
The US didn't have to pay to feed and bring up this person. If this person is 1 in 100,
the US didn't have to pay and feed and educate 100 people and selectively keep only the best one without having to bother
with the rest.

I would say that the US is getting the good end of the deal

G

Is there an increase? (3, Insightful)

maglor_83 (856254) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563613)

The Department of Justice this week said it has placed criminal charges or convictions against more than 255 defendants in the past two fiscal years â" 145 in 2008 and 110 in 2007. That 255 number represents more than a six-fold increase from fiscal year 2005, when the DOJ said about 40 individuals or companies were convicted of over 100 criminal violations of export control laws

So how many were charged and then aquitted in 2005?

This is bad, cause... (1)

Perseid (660451) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563621)

...if we get over 256 the DoJ might crash.

Sure, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25563625)

only if there's something to export. If I have not mistaken, most technology in U.S. are foreign import, perhaps just "legally" patented in the U.S.

The alternatives (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563641)

Legalize the export, so we can build it here and sell it overseas.

The alternative is to force capital out to a market where the technology can be produced, marketed globally and then imported back into this country.

Re:The alternatives (1)

jlarocco (851450) | more than 5 years ago | (#25564081)

You're not thinking about the right technology.

I'd guess about 99% of the violations involve military related technology and research. There's no way that development is ever going to be out sourced. In fact, most of it probably only exists because the government is paying for it in the first place.

Laptops and cameras, too (3, Informative)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563685)

Note that while the headlines make it seem like they're talking about nuclear weapons technologies and high tech, the majority of these are probably violations of the ITAR [thespacereview.com] laws that have little or nothing to do with weapons-- the law is so broadly written that almost anything could be "arms". Export a laptop [wordpress.com] and you're violating ITAR.

... and then, if you scroll down a little in the referenced article, this line is interesting: "Mexico seems to be the hotspot for illegal exports of firearms, including assault weapons and rifles, as well as large quantities of ammunition, the DOJ stated." So, apparently bullets are part of this "illegal export of [US] technology"

Re:Laptops and cameras, too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25563879)

Hmm, so does that mean it's illegal to walk across the border from Tijuana to San Diego CA (busiest ground border crossing in the US) buy a laptop/camera at a store in San Diego and walk back across to Mexico? Because that'd be ridiculous.

it works both ways (3, Informative)

BigBadBus (653823) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563735)

I used to work for Bae Systems in Farnborough and the management there would constantly bemoan the fact that the US couldn't/wouldn't share any technological advances with us for x number of years. We, of course, were expected to share with them, lest we sacrifice our special agreements and co-operations.

Very Few Convictions (1)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563743)

I am shocked that many more arrests and convictions did not take place. In the mid 1980 era we had numerous stops at air ports in which the government brought in specialists and checked both credentials and the circuit boards that we were carrying within the US. It seems that they were vigilant enough to be concerned that a hand off to another passenger would not take place on a domestic flight to a person who would later fly to another nation. Most of these circuit boards were for robotics.

Monopoly circumvention (1)

mattytee (1395955) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563771)

What I got from TFA is, "We want to keep our monopoly on the arms trade." It's obviously true that China/India/who-have-you can build and export these things cheaper, what with the lack of the bulk of our labor law and virtually zero environmental restrictions. The same reason they can build and export anything else cheaper. Ultimately, we want to sell other countries fighter *jets*, not fighter jet technology. The appeal to fear may be effective. But several nations are nuclear with delivery capability to get warheads here already -- that point's really kind of moot.

"Illegal export of technology?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25563783)

Double-U-Tee-Eff is that? I mean I know that certain stuff can't be exported (hardware/software, especially crypto, military weapons, etc. -- and those are trafficked all over the globe without anyone batting an eyelid) but what else is restricted, and why?

Or is the big news that they've actually *caught* someone doing this?

They need to stop having it made out side of usa f (0)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563785)

They need to stop having it made out side of usa for one thing.

My corp tries (1)

redelm (54142) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563797)

At work I'm an SME (Subject Matter Expert) who rates technology according to EAR classifications. Everybody is trained about US Export Compliance and shipping will not send anything without paperwork. People are not supposed to send emails of anything remotely questionable or to/facilitating any Highly-Restricted Country.

Does it work? Sure. Does it fail? Sure. The "bad guys" do get some, but often not everything. And the critical experience is actually pretty easy to control.

Whether the US should or not is a totally different matter. But it dates from 1790, depriving the evil English Navy of pine logs to make into masts & spars.

Most of thist stuff has commercial uses (5, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563835)

Most of the stuff the US is still export-controlling either has commercial uses or non-US sources. If you look at the indictments, the big one was about someone exporting carbon fibre materials to the China Space Agency. Why is the US trying to stop that? There's some noise about how carbon fibre might be somehow used to enrich uranium. [neimagazine.com] China already has its own enrichment plants, nuclear weapons, and nuclear reactors. They don't need a centrifuge enrichment plant, except maybe for cost reduction. The US tries, for some reason, to slow down China's space program by refusing to export certain space-related items. Not that it makes much difference; the Chinese space program seems to be doing just fine.

It's hard to think of anything in computing that you can't get outside the US. Nor is there any military computing application that really requires more compute power that you couldn't put together from stuff you could mail order from Taiwan or China.

Arms control and technology export control are different issues. Arms control is intended to make it harder for people we don't like to get firepower in bulk. It's not about the underlying technology; it's about production. Most of the cases mentioned are pure arms control issues.

Re:Most of thist stuff has commercial uses (1)

PetriBORG (518266) | more than 5 years ago | (#25564141)

It might be that they are really trying to block China from producing better ballistic missile weapons or maybe anti-ballistic weapons? Or maybe its to prevent them from building better bicycles for competition in Tour de France. :-)

Honestly - I think there could be a number of reasons to block them, but you're probably right in that its just a pissing match.

Personally I think Babylon 5 is coming! There isn't much any gov. can do about it.

The encryption regulations are unconstitutional (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563837)

They were found to be unconstitutional when they were run by the State Department, and they were quickly transferred to the Department of Commerce when Dan Bernstein won his lawsuit over it. These are not the only such export regulations, but these are the ones that prevent your telephone calls, banking transactions, and email from having far more robust protection end to end. This government, and previous ones do not want to permit robust protection from foreign or from their own country's uses. This would otherwise present a great deal of warrant-free and unlimited monitoring, such as that done by the US 'Carnivore' program, which is still in use with a new name, and the kind of backbone monitor over which the EFF is suing the NSA and AT&T.

Make no mistake, those regulations are unconstitutional. Nothing magically changed except liability when they got moved, and now the specter of 'terrorism' is being raised to prevent their end.

Sure (2, Insightful)

SleepyHappyDoc (813919) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563869)

Just as soon as they stop all the cocaine from coming in.

Hmmmmm (1)

Petra_von_Kant (825352) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563871)

Some of the more bizarre items I have been prevented from buying or even viewing on the US eBay (I am in Australia), have been a pair of Leitz binoculars and a Hewlett Packard stethscope (neither of which were invented by Americans ..... note the word invented).

Cheers

"You've got a chart filling a whole wall with interlocking pathways and reactions to shock and the researcher says "If I can just control this one molecule/enzyme/compound I'll stop the whole negative physiologic cascade of post haemorrhagic shock." Yeah, right."

Makes sense, doesn't it? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563975)

When industry and the government do not show people any reason to be proud of their country, why should they be motivated to keep things within their country? Give no other motivation, people will simply sell to the highest bidder.

Sad, but what to do about it? Elect Obama? I don't think that's much of a solution.

Since we cannot stop the illegal (1)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 5 years ago | (#25564017)

export of US technology maybe we should instead license that technology to other nations in exchange of 10% of the profits from that licensed technology?

Intellectual Property Rights stand in the way of competition and free enterprise. I am sure that many Slashdot readers agree with me that Microsoft is using IP rights to create a Monopoly and sue anyone who dares try to invent the same technology, or else buy them out, or else make things like important API calls as undocumented. Microsoft tried to use SCO to use XENIX/SCO Unix IP to sue IBM and other Linux contributors. Microsoft did not like that Linux became the next big thing and started to become more popular, so Microsoft and SCO did what they could via IP rights to stop Linux.

If other nations love and need US technology so bad, they ought to be willing to pay to license it in exchange for at least 10% of the profits from that technology and that way they can legally export US technology and still keep 90% of the profits to grow their economy.

anything truly valuable (2, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#25564045)

such as aluminum cylinders for refining uranium hexafluoride, or computer chips hardened against cosmic rays for ICBMs, are thing you don't pick up at newegg and reship to iran. simple as that

if it is something the average american joe can buy, it is something the average iranian jamal can buy. nothing to be done about it except accept. nonissue, nonstory

Tech theft? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25564071)

Silly, why steal it from the US when they can BUY it for less effort/ money directly from China, where a lot of it is originating in the first place?

Huh? (2, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | more than 5 years ago | (#25564095)

There is technology in the US not available elsewhere? News to me. In fact most interesting stuff is imported into the US today....

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