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Avian Flu Researcher Plans to Defy Dutch Ban On Publishing Paper

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the coming-to-a-news-stand-near-year dept.

Biotech 118

scibri writes "Ron Fouchier, one of the researchers involved in the controversy over whether to publish research on mutant versions of H5N1 bird flu, has said he plans to submit his paper to Science without applying for an export control license as demanded by the Dutch government. Failing to get the license means he could face penalties including up to six years in prison. Whether the paper falls under export-control laws is unclear. The Netherlands implements European Union (EU) legislation on export controls, which require an export permit for 'dual-use' materials and information — those that could have both legitimate and malicious uses — including those relating to dangerous pathogens. But the EU law allows an exception for 'basic scientific research' that is 'not primarily directed towards a specific practical aim or objective,' which Fouchier says should cover his work."

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Ron Faget (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39723537)

Ron Faget's illegal release. Fucken guy wants to release a paper about what a fucken faget he is.

Re:Ron Faget (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39723885)

You spelled faggot wrong. Three times.

Dumbass.

Sounds like a good STORY for a bioweapon release (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39723561)

"rogue scientist unwittingly gives the terrorists their dream weapon"
"millions die"
"calls for tougher laws on information dissemination"
"calls for tougher peanalties on illegal dissemination of information"
"internet is a conduit for illegal information"
"[some expert group with no legitimate history] releases a report to the UN recomending lockdown of the internet"

Re:Sounds like a good STORY for a bioweapon releas (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39723593)

"everyone must take compulsory vaccine to avoid pandemic"
"those refusing will be held in 'quaranteen'"

Re:Sounds like a good STORY for a bioweapon releas (2, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 2 years ago | (#39723625)

"everyone must take compulsory vaccine to avoid pandemic"
"those refusing will be held in 'quaranteen'"

Everybody else will become autistic.

Re:Sounds like a good STORY for a bioweapon releas (0)

DaneM (810927) | more than 2 years ago | (#39723701)

"everyone must take compulsory vaccine to avoid pandemic"
"those refusing will be held in 'quaranteen'"

Everybody else will become autistic.

So long as the autistic folks remember to let everyone else out, then those who refused to take said vaccine will instantly conquer the world!

Of course, most of the fuss over (not) taking vaccines is simple hysteria (with a side of conspiracy theories), but since a few vaccines have actually caused problems in the past (epilepsy in a person I know, for example), there's no telling which part of this hysteria (if any) is justified, today. Ugh.

Re:Sounds like a good STORY for a bioweapon releas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39723633)

Seriously, why the fuck would he announce beforehand that he is planning on doing something illegal. If he was so hell-bent on releasing the info, wouldn't he be concerned that forewarning the authorities might cause them to act first and prevent the release?

This story does not add up.

Re:Sounds like a good STORY for a bioweapon releas (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39723821)

It's not like the guy is saying,

"Tomorrow at 8:00AM I'm going to rob the First PanNational Bank of Metropolis and there's nothing you coppers can do to stop me."

Rather, he is saying,

"I am going to submit my scientific research to a well respected journal in my field. I do not consider that an illegal act. I do however understand that my research is considered dangerous by some, so I want to appear to be the reasonable person in this situation."

Re:Sounds like a good STORY for a bioweapon releas (3, Interesting)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 2 years ago | (#39725753)

Furthermore, because what prohibits anyone else to do research on the topic?

So for one... terrorists for sure won't try to publish their research.
And second, he probably has spent a good amount of time researching to be scooped by another researcher in another country that may not have the "exporting" issue.

Still, that doesn't mean is going to be published, and peer-reviewing will be in place, very likely if some consider is very interesting it will be published. Unless other hands wave at the paper and never gets published. (Yes, submitting doesn't mean publishing)

Re:Sounds like a good STORY for a bioweapon releas (1)

hemo_jr (1122113) | more than 2 years ago | (#39723879)

If you want to volunteer as a test case, it does make sense.

Re:Sounds like a good STORY for a bioweapon releas (2)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#39724257)

Seriously, why the fuck would he announce beforehand that he is planning on doing something illegal. If he was so hell-bent on releasing the info, wouldn't he be concerned that forewarning the authorities might cause them to act first and prevent the release?

This story does not add up.

well, if the authorities stop him from releasing the information, it's not his fault, not his choice to bow down before vague pressure to not publish - then at least there would be court about it, if it's legal and where such research could be done and who can do it and which scientists end up with gagging orders for what reasons.

Civil Disobedience (3, Insightful)

alexander_686 (957440) | more than 2 years ago | (#39724401)

I am reading this not as a narrow legal dodge (it falls outside the laws) but as a broad claim of researching being able to freely publish scientific data without prior censorship, and thus a campaign of Civil Disobedience.

The point of Civil Disobedience is not to break unjust laws, it’s to change them. Read up on the theorist of your choice, but I am picking Gandhi’s Salt March. The idea is to state your case on why you think your action is just, announce you are doing it, then do it. The authorities then must public arrest you. Do it long enough, loud enough and the capricious law will crumble.

Anonymous Pirates take note. If you think IP laws should change (which I do), stand up and be counted, just don’t download the latest whatever. If you don’t do what you do with pride, people will just assume you are cheap unemployed people ripping off starving artistic.

Re:Civil Disobedience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39725841)

people will just assume you are cheap unemployed people ripping off starving artistic.(sic)

I am going to assume that anyway regardless of your pride level.

Re:Civil Disobedience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39726915)

I am a cheap unemployed people ripping off starving artists, of course it should be illegal to copy things you didn't buy.
You people are just mad when some copy prevention accidentally prevents you from doing something legal.
And now I've been pirating so much, I'd have to pay 10% of my income to receive the media that I download now.

Re:Sounds like a good STORY for a bioweapon releas (1)

Paracelcus (151056) | more than 2 years ago | (#39726851)

Publish it on hundreds of Internet sites anonymously.

Re:Sounds like a good STORY for a bioweapon releas (3, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#39726471)

"rogue scientist unwittingly gives the terrorists their dream weapon"

Terrorists generally aren't too adept at molecular biology. Knowing the DNA sequence does not mean you'd be able to will it together in a functional virus. I'm a molecular biologist, and I wouldn't know where to start making this flu. Terrorists aren't even that advanced with conventional bombs. The 9/11 attacks, they didn't even actually HAVE a bomb, they just had box cutters and a promise that they did have a bomb.

While some government bent on censoring the internet obviously wouldn't care about the truth and might use it as an excuse anyway, it's also true that voters aren't too concerned about censoring the net anyway.

Why worry about science as an excuse, when saying "Child porn!" is a more effective cover for taking away free speech anyway?

good! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39723649)

good, i wanna read that shizz

Good for him (3, Insightful)

AdrianKemp (1988748) | more than 2 years ago | (#39723663)

I salute him for risking prison, he's doing the right thing. Censorship is evil, research perhaps most of all.

Agreed (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39723789)

Government will try to paint a picture where the consequences of free association are worse than the consequences of oppression (yes, I said oppression) -- but those of us who think for ourselves already know the truth.

I'm guessing this respectable man (the scientist) thinks for himself. We need more of his type in this world, and less of the government type. MUCH less of the government type.

Re:Good for him (2, Insightful)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 2 years ago | (#39723823)

And if a terrorist group uses that research to kill thousands or millions? Will you still feel its justified?

Re:Good for him (5, Insightful)

digitig (1056110) | more than 2 years ago | (#39723845)

And if a terrorist group uses that research to kill thousands or millions? Will you still feel its justified?

Do you hold the Wright Brothers, Dr Hans Von Ohain and Sir Frank Whittle responsible for 9/11?

Re:Good for him (3, Funny)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39723877)

He would, but he probably doesn't know who they are.

Re:Good for him (1)

ohms (728912) | more than 2 years ago | (#39723999)

Your argument is a bit of a strawman. Nowhere did AdrianKemp imply that the flight pioneers were responsible for 9/11. Also, last time I heard, I thought they were trying to develop the vaccine for it before considering releasing it to the masses. In this case, the cost of releasing it without having any safeguards against its misuse in my opinion greatly outweighs the benefits of having this research in the public domain, You cannot say the same for airplanes; the CBA for each innovation is quite different.

Re:Good for him (3, Insightful)

digitig (1056110) | more than 2 years ago | (#39724177)

Pretty much any research (beyond that which puts the blindingly obvious on a formal scientific basis) has potential uses for terrorists -- look at the way bodies such as the USA and the EU include basic medicines in export bans because they might be used to heal the baddies. If this information is released worldwide then it could help a whole lot of other people working on a vaccine, not just the Dutch pharmaceutical companies, and so it could lead to earlier development of a vaccine and a resulting saving of lives.

Re:Good for him (2, Interesting)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 2 years ago | (#39724007)

The invention of flight had obvious benefits to the scientific community and the general population. Mutating a virus to be more deadly isn't quite the same. Although research could evolve from it that proves to be beneficial, the immediate result of this research is not. This is also potentially far more deadly than a plane flying into a building. It could have global consequences if misused with the potential to kill far more than 9/11.

They are not the same.

Re:Good for him (2)

repapetilto (1219852) | more than 2 years ago | (#39724839)

What is the immediate result of having some crazy guy flying around your town in his contraption?

Re:Good for him (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39724099)

Oh.

My.

Gosh.

This changes everything! It all makes sense now!

Re:Good for him (1)

MiniMike (234881) | more than 2 years ago | (#39724421)

He would probably hold Elisha Otis, Daniel Burnham, and John Root responsible too, and would be more than willing to fly somewhere and meet in a tall building to explain why he thinks they all should be exhumed, tried, shot, and reburied.

Re:Good for him (1)

nhat11 (1608159) | more than 2 years ago | (#39726261)

Because the purpose of a plane is for transportation unlike this particular virus which only objective is to kill.

Re:Good for him (2)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | more than 2 years ago | (#39723933)

Yes I would. You could say the same about any technology, but I have more likely worries than some terrorist plot.

Re:Good for him (0)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 2 years ago | (#39724053)

And if said virus killed your family? It's easy to make off the cuff statements that 'censorship' is bad, when researchers also have a responsibility to think of the ramifications of their research.

Re:Good for him (5, Insightful)

martas (1439879) | more than 2 years ago | (#39724221)

And if said virus killed your family?

I will never take anyone seriously who brings up the possibility of personal loss in a discussion like this. That is an argument that can be used in many contexts, to argue both sides of the issue. It is non-informative, and intellectually dishonest. Stop it.

Re:Good for him (0)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 2 years ago | (#39724785)

It doesn't get much more personal if the consequences had such real world ramifications. Researchers need to be responsible with research. There will always be a human element that should be considered. As I said, it's easy to make off he cuff decisions without looking at the potential risks or taking responsibility. I think it's irresponsible to do so until they have a vaccine.

Re:Good for him (1)

martas (1439879) | more than 2 years ago | (#39724853)

My point was general, not about this virus story specifically. And I wasn't saying I think publishing this is a good idea (haven't completely made up my mind either way, yet).

Re:Good for him (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39726661)

And I for one will never take anyone seriously who waves away personal responsibility by refusing to consider real world examples which are possible to comprehend by everyone. "The death of one man is a tragedy , that of a million is statistics."

In fact, calling someone intellectually dishonest because he pierces your comfy little world of statistics and makes you think of the world we actually live in, is the very definition of intellectual dishonesty. Fuck you.

Re:Good for him (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39724231)

Then at least they didn't die in abject fear of an unlikely bogeyman.

And my daughter wouldn't have her tits groped on the off chance that the TSA agent will feel something other than her tits.

Re:Good for him (2)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | more than 2 years ago | (#39724325)

I'd still feel the same about releasing the knowledge. Granted I would probably want to string the individuals who released the virus by their own entrails (this is one of my less creative ideas), or pick them off at 400+ meters with my deer rifle. Your argument seems specious at best, it is akin to asking if I would be mad at some car company if a drunk plowed into my family killing them.

Re:Good for him (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39724601)

This would be more akin to someone giving them your home address and them driving into your bedroom to slaughter your children with their car.

Re:Good for him (1)

Xenx (2211586) | more than 2 years ago | (#39725501)

No, no it wouldn't. Your statement is applying guilt to the party supplying the information. This would be, if anything, the phone book containing the address information. Then, a cybernetic killing machine from the future uses the phone book to track down his target and kill her. So, the people behind releasing phone books are in the wrong!

Re:Good for him (5, Insightful)

tommituura (1346233) | more than 2 years ago | (#39724437)

And if said virus killed your family? It's easy to make off the cuff statements that 'censorship' is bad, when researchers also have a responsibility to think of the ramifications of their research.

Wrong question.

I'd be much, much more concerned if the scientists will discover a working vaccine before this mutation happens in the wild, and to that end, SCIENCE needs to be done. Suppression of research is clearly harmful to this goal. So, I'd be asking the question: "And if said virus, having mutated in wild, killed your family, and the vaccine wasn't ready in time thanks to idiots who wanted to make it harder to discover with their security theater?"

And honestly, the way I see it, the harmful info is already out there. If the terrorists have a grasp of biology, and the resources at the level they would be able to actually do these things, the information that H5N1 can actually mutate into something this dangerous is enough. Suppressing this research is doing nothing else but letting the bad guys have all the weapons.

Re:Good for him (0)

Brian Feldman (350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39724731)

Great post. Security through obscurity has NEVER worked.

Re:Good for him (1)

repapetilto (1219852) | more than 2 years ago | (#39724915)

Yes, exactly. Anyone with access to the right equipment can now figure out how to do this, paper published or not. What would be really clever is to change a key aspect in the news reports to lead these bio-terrorists down the wrong path.

Re:Good for him (1)

hrvatska (790627) | more than 2 years ago | (#39724027)

Thank goodness the possibility of someone flying commercial aircraft into a building and killing thousands wasn't used as a reason for killing flight as a common means of transportation.

Re:Good for him (1)

nhat11 (1608159) | more than 2 years ago | (#39726227)

Because the purpose of a plane is not to kill unlike this particular virus which only objective is to. Anyways great analogy as planes are viruses... o wait.

Re:Good for him (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39724061)

If a terrorist group gets hold of the bird flu, but not this paper they can still use it for malicious goals.
If a terrorist group gets hold of his paper, but not any flu, then they can wipe their ass with it.

On the other hand, his paper would probably be useful to defend against the virus.

Re:Good for him (4, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#39724159)

"And if a terrorist group uses that research to kill thousands or millions? Will you still feel its justified?"

Fuck you and everyone like you.

Yes it's justified.

The benefits of scientific exchange by studying contagions outweigh whatever risks there are due to mythical terrorists behind every tree. Terrorists, I must add, who set fire to their shoes and underwear. We're not exactly talking about fucking genius. If they thought for one fucking second about what they were doing, they wouldn't try to fucking blow themselves up, would they?

People like you would drag us back to the fucking dark ages because "technology can be used by terrorists" and there would be no fucking benefit to anyone except your fucking megalomania.

There are far easier and effective ways of killing people than trying to weaponize a virus. Take your "doctor evil" bad movie script, print it out until it is all sharp corners, and shove it up your ass.

Go confiscate someone else's nail clippers.

--
BMO

Re:Good for him (0)

dyingtolive (1393037) | more than 2 years ago | (#39725263)

I think I love you BMO.

Re:Good for him (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39725423)

No, it's not. You are wrong. /thread

Re:Good for him (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39724271)

You know what I think - I think that no terrorist would have thought of this, if you hadn't posted the suggestion. Now look what you've done.

Re:Good for him (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39724409)

awww thats so cute, you actually think terrorists are real.

Re:Good for him (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39725303)

I know they are, I voted against them in the last election!

Re:Good for him (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39726371)

Have you ever heard of Daniel Pear??

Re:Good for him (1)

Brian Feldman (350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39724697)

I pity you for the ignorant belief that people that hold extremist views are in any way less intelligent or capable than supposedly-non-political research scientists.

Re:Good for him (2)

X.25 (255792) | more than 2 years ago | (#39725135)

And if a terrorist group uses that research to kill thousands or millions? Will you still feel its justified?

First, it's government of the "developed world" that go most of the killing (or turn blind eye when their 'strategic allies' do it). Not the terrorists.

Second, do you hold inventors of gun powder responsible for deaths of thousands or millions?

I am more scared of governments than terrorists. I really am.

Re:Good for him (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#39726493)

Yes: fear is a fucking idiotic reason to silence our scientists.

Anyway, the terrorists won't know what to do with it.

Re:Good for him (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#39723953)

I'm on the fence on this one. On one hand, I'm worried about the technology and knowledge to manufacture bio-weapons falling into the wrong hands. Nuclear research is one thing, as the cost barrier to entry is pretty high, even if you have the blueprints. But biological/chemical stuff is cheap. Nevertheless, knowledge will eventually spread, so blocking it is just buying time. My main support of Fouchier is that the whole dual use export control system is all too often used as a tool for economic or market control. And thanks to the unintended consequences, a lot of valuable industry has been driven overseas where it is free to be exported without the interference of the DIA/State Department.

Considering both issues, I'd say, "Screw it. Go ahead and publish." The damage to the free market will probably be far more serious than a few virulent disease outbreaks. "Any one who will trade freedom for security deserves neither".

Re:Good for him (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#39724211)

>But biological/chemical stuff is cheap.

No, it's not. It's not because it's bloody difficult to get it to work effectively.

It's not like walking into Walgreens and walking out with the ingredients for meth.

--
BMO

Re:Good for him (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | more than 2 years ago | (#39724553)

But it is cheap compared to a nuclear weapons program. A couple of smart & fanatical people with a modest payroll can go a long way. I have read scenarios (sorry, can’t cite them off the top of my head) that one could do really interesting stuff with 100k worth of equipment and supplies. 500k is well within the range of smaller states and larger criminal organizations.

Re:Good for him (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39725015)

The current crop of idiots is so bound up in their misinterpretation of their religion that they aren't likely to deal with anyone smart enough to make use of this info. They'll stone someone to death for teaching girls to read. They probably aren't reading the abstracts of research papers. And they probably aren't associating with the people who have the capabilities of using this info.

Re:Good for him (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727307)

Right. All terrorists are uneducated morons. You just keep believing that and you'll sleep better at night.

Why are so many terrorists engineers? [nytimes.com]

Re:Good for him (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#39725803)

And you've been reading conspiracy websites if that's what you've been reading.

It is so far more difficult to weaponize Anthrax without the necessary knowledge *and* equipment that you're far better off trying to figure out, for example, how to synthesize certain organic compounds that cost 18-20 dollars/gram that only reveal themselves when it's too late and there's no trail to follow like with polonium, but have nearly as horrific effects on the human body.

--
BMO

Re:Good for him (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39726519)

It's not difficult to make a virus. What is difficult is making it so that it targets only the people you want to target. So if you have someone that believes he is going to heaven if he gets infected by the virus and then goes to a shopping mall, movie theaters, public rallies or any other place where lots of people are in close proximity the you have a delivery device. And this devise uses smart technology. It walks and talks just like a normal human being. He
s the guy your ultra liberal nature would say "Shake his hand so I don't look like a conservative" and then you die but you will have infected your mother, father sisters brothers and all your friends first.

Sounds like government censorship to me (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39723685)

Fuck the Dutch and their wooden shoes, Golden Earring, tulips, and windmills

I do like Edam cheese though.

Re:Sounds like government censorship to me (1)

scsirob (246572) | more than 2 years ago | (#39723817)

Yes, this is censorship. But think before you judge.

Just like there is a ban on sending information about nuclear systems around, the Dutch government wants to prevent him from sending information that can be used to threaten humanity itself. If there is an easy way to modify bird flu virus so it will become lethal to humans, then it is important to keep that information away from idiots who will abuse that knowledge to push a political or religious agenda. Let alone someone actually releasing such a virus in your country "to show the power of God/Allah/(your favorite fairytail here)"...

Re:Sounds like government censorship to me (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#39723887)

This could work both ways. It's true that this information is dangerous in the wrong hands, but I'm sure it will get out eventually. On the other hand, the information could be used to find a cure if more people had access to it. Imagine if there was an outbreak, and only a few people had the cure, do you think they would share it with the rest of the world?

Re:Sounds like government censorship to me (1)

mhajicek (1582795) | more than 2 years ago | (#39723895)

The problem is one of the "slippery slope" variety however. While one can with fair reasonableness assert that the general public shouldn't have plans for WMDs, once put into law the definition of WMD would expand over time to include anything and everything that can be used to maintain the balance of power between government and governed.

Re:Sounds like government censorship to me (1)

Whatanut (203397) | more than 2 years ago | (#39724349)

I'm not sure why everyone assumes this research is suddenly dangerous just because it exists. I find one of three scenarios likely.

1. The "terrorists" wouldn't understand the research and, therefore, wouldn't be able to do anything with it. So, no harm done and very little risk. Continue the research and our overall understanding.

2. The 'terrorists" have the people they need in their fold which can understand and do something with this research. Doesn't it stand to reason, then, that these same "terrorist" scientists could just do the same research on their own and produce similar results without this particular piece being published? "Oh! But it'll be easy for them now!". I don't really buy that one. If they wanted to do something along these lines they would have already.

3. The "terrorists" can now go recruit people that would understand and be able to do something with this research. Same scenario as number 2. They could have done this ages ago and done the research on their own.

I have a hard time believing that just because this paper is published it will be any easier for the bad guys to do harm.

Re:Sounds like government censorship to me (0)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 2 years ago | (#39724151)

Fuck you. Golden Earring rocks!

Re:Sounds like government censorship to me (2)

0a100b (456593) | more than 2 years ago | (#39724425)

And fuck the Americans too?

Initially the Dutch government had no problems with the scientists publishing their research.
It was the US government didn't want the paper to be published and they somehow made the Dutch government take the same stance on the issue.

(In Dutch) Article from University of Wageningen about the issue [www.wur.nl]

Fuck Microsoft (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39723741)

And fuck your face.

About time (1)

J'raxis (248192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39723805)

I'm amazed that it's taken this long for someone to do the right thing... and that the paper didn't end up on Wikileaks or similar a couple days after this controversy started.

Is it even an export? (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 2 years ago | (#39723955)

Seems to me that the grant supporting the research came from the US so submission for publication in a US journal is pretty normal. I got some telescope time on a UK telescope and published in a UK journal as a result. It is hard to say I was exporting science to the UK when they built the telescope and instrument I used. And, if the journal Science is available in The Netherlands, as it is, how can it be said that the science has even left that country. Seems a little murky. At the least, it would be the journal, not the researcher, who is the publishing party and thus subject to this strange interpretation of export law.

Re:Is it even an export? (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 2 years ago | (#39724525)

By that logic Apple doesn't import any of their hardware into the US. After all, it's a US company paying the bills right?

Re:Is it even an export? (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 2 years ago | (#39725911)

Hard to equate hardware with science I think.

Re:Is it even an export? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39725379)

Seems to me that the grant supporting the research came from the US so submission for publication in a US journal is pretty normal. I got some telescope time on a UK telescope and published in a UK journal as a result.

I don't think that normally holds. I published in US and EU journals while on a UK grant and will likely publish in both now I am on a US grant - the location of the journal rarely factors into where I publish, only the suitability of the subject matter and the reputation. Location only matters for conferences, and then it's a question of whether my interest in the conference plus my interest in visiting the location is greater than the effort involved in going there and justifying the expenses.

It is hard to say I was exporting science to the UK when they built the telescope and instrument I used

Would it be a question of exporting science to North Korea (for example) if they built the parts for the nuclear bomb you designed for them? I think most people (including courts) would say yes...

Re:Is it even an export? (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 2 years ago | (#39725879)

It is true that there are journals all over the world and suitability does matter. I'm not sure those that a US grant to study flu strains academically is the same as NK commissioning a bomb design. There is an expectation of publication in the former case.

Licenses on dual use? (3, Insightful)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#39723973)

Wouldn't that be most technology out there?

I mean, take anything and there's always a malicious use for it. A car can serve as transportation for someone (good), or as a quick getaway after committing a crime (bad).

The computer can be used to educate and communicate, or to create misery for others and steal (real cybercrime here). And that doesn't even involve the murkiness of copyright.

A camera can be used to document a crime, or to commit one (e.g., pedophillia creation).

A book can be used to educate, inform or provide entertainment, or to spread ugly rumors and how to make say, bombs to kill people.

Really - where's the line? This research can be used to spur new advances in medicine, or be used to create a mass plague.

Practically everything has a malicious use to it.

Re:Licenses on dual use? (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#39724283)

"I mean, take anything and there's always a malicious use for it"

The keyboard to an old IBM 5150 can be used to bludgeon someone to death.

--
BMO

Re:Licenses on dual use? (1)

plover (150551) | more than 2 years ago | (#39725075)

The keyboard to an old IBM 5150 can be used to bludgeon someone to death.

Pics or it didn't happen!

Re:Licenses on dual use? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#39726513)

Practically everything has a malicious use to it.

Which is perhaps why they wrote the law like that.

Re:Licenses on dual use? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39726567)

Dual use technology specificly implies technology that is critical to building nuclear, biological or chemical weapons. weaponizing bioagents is challenging, dispersing chemical weapons effectively is challenging (see the miserable failure of Aun Shinko in the Tokyo subwasy) and nuclear has its set of challenges.

Re:Licenses on dual use? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39726593)

Just plain stupid. Another public school idiot. An atomic bomb has few uses for good. Atomic power maybe but the bomb no. You have blinders on. The science in this is very small. Modifying a gnome has been available for a many years now. How to change a known killer virus into one that is much more of a killer is the same as a bomb. Pull your head out!

Is there any reason (-1)

fredrated (639554) | more than 2 years ago | (#39723995)

this person shouldn't just be shot outright?

Re:Is there any reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39724059)

Well we could and then wait until someone else discovers the same thing and releases it and we have no way to fight it because we couldn't study this guys original paper.

Re:Is there any reason (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39724097)

Probably more than to not shot you.

Developing a shot (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 2 years ago | (#39724165)

The research indicated that H5N1 will likely become pandemic naturally. So, know we know that a vaccine is a priority.

Re:Is there any reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39724199)

Perhaps because he's a more accomplished person than you? Not that that is especially difficult...

What's the goal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39724019)

What is the goal of releasing that research? Is it going to help other scientists, if so how? We can't discuss if it's a good idea to release his research without knowing what are the benefits of doing so are.

Develop vaccines (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | more than 2 years ago | (#39724641)

The paper shows a logical, possible, way that the virus could mutate in the wild.

Vaccines take a long time to develop, test, and manufacture, so you want to get ahead of the curve. Which means you want to do some ground work with your enemy. What can it do? How can it evolve, etc. Now we know.

Re:Develop vaccines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39726067)

The paper shows a logical, possible, way that the virus could mutate in the wild.

Vaccines take a long time to develop, test, and manufacture, so you want to get ahead of the curve. Which means you want to do some ground work with your enemy. What can it do? How can it evolve, etc. Now we know.

Not only that but we're likely going to need a different method to fight this. We're completely unprepared for this kind of disease, it doesn't have to be this particular one mutating in the wild, any disease "like" it will need something different to fight it. This is going to happen one day, like it or not, barring us reducing our population by about 70% through other means, so we might as well start working on the problem.

Isn't everything "dual use"? (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#39724203)

This "dual use" clause is scrary and definitely highly ambiguous.

Where to put the line? Before you know it we can't export iron! After all you can make cars with it, but also guns. Or trucks: can be used for transporting both civilian or military goods. Or mobile phones: aren't they used to set off bombs?

And this example of raw materials is not far fetched, it is from direct personal experience: I'm in the business of trading plastic recycling materials out of Europe, and currently we basically can not ship to Malaysia as virtually all cargo has to undergo extra inspections by customs as it may be "dual use cargo". A few months ago there were no such problems.

I don't know why Malaysia is in the spotlight, just that it is, and that it's hindering general trade and commerce. And that's the result of this "dual use" argument.

Limited distribution (3, Interesting)

jamesl (106902) | more than 2 years ago | (#39724209)

" ... he plans to submit his paper to Science ... "

Where it will be hidden behind a paywall

Re:Limited distribution (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 2 years ago | (#39726913)

Where it will be hidden behind a paywall

...for the next 70 years or so. Plenty of time for a cure to be found! Win-win!

On a serious note: why not on PLoS ONE? Impact factor of ~10 not good enough for him?

Idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39724275)

My government consists of a bunch of idiots. Sending a scientific manuscript to a journal does not constitute the export of anything. For one because you don't get paid for it. In the interest of public opinion they put the word out that they will forbid publication and then afterwards try to find a halfway plausible legal reason.

The only thing that can be banned is the actual publication and this is upto the us government.

No. 1 Killer Export (1)

srussia (884021) | more than 2 years ago | (#39724321)

Democracy

he will SUBMIT his MANUSCRIPT to Science ... (1)

acidfast7 (551610) | more than 2 years ago | (#39724549)

nowhere is it stated that the MS will pass peer review and be accepted.

As a PI, I know that submission does NOT equal public dissemination, not by a long shot.

Actually, I consider this stupid (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#39725059)

The truth is, that AQ or other terrorists, are very likely to use Avian flu in an attack. The reason is that it can easily be converted to a weapon and then run around and spread it all through the west. And yes, AQ DOES know this. The last thing that needs to be done is give them more information that can be used to make it more effective.

Re:Actually, I consider this stupid (1)

MiniMike (234881) | more than 2 years ago | (#39726979)

The truth is, that AQ or other terrorists, are very likely to use Avian flu in an attack. The reason is that it can easily be converted to a weapon and then run around and spread it all through the west. And yes, AQ DOES know this.

Then they should also know that the virus would not be confined to the West, and would rampage through their homes as well. The only thing that would be confined to the West would be the vaccines. And while the terrorists get plenty of stupid and gullible people to do their work, the people in charge (usually) aren't so suicidal as to attack with biological weapons. IANABWE, so I don't know if this would be beyond the capability of a 'lone wolf' type of attacker.

"He is an idiot" (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 2 years ago | (#39725103)

I just can repeat what our boss (who is quite high in the scientific establishment in States) said about this guy.

"He is an idiot".

Security (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39725231)

I hope the good doctor, his staff, and facility have world-class protection.

Because he just painted the world's largest "KIDNAP ME" target on his back.

Seriously - one breach and 50% of the world population dies.

That's not trivial.

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