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Exporting Knowledge Via Students

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the keep-those-brain-cells-here dept.

Education 397

brainhum writes "SF Weekly reports that proposed Department of Commerce regulations will require foreign students at US universities to apply for export licenses to use dual purpose technologies in the classroom. From the article: 'Inherent in the new rules is a discriminatory contradiction: Students from India, which has cordial relations with the U.S., will need licenses to study, but students from Saudi Arabia -- home country for most of the participants in the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington, and much of the financing and ideology behind Islamist terrorism -- will not.' The proposed regulations point out that current export license requirements are based on the person's most recent citizenship, which they believe, could allow a person born in Iran to avoid licensing if they held Canadian citizenship. More information is available in the SF Weekly story "Student of Concern"."

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397 comments

Wrong idea! (5, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 9 years ago | (#12592774)

They've got it backwards! We don't want to restrict American information, we want to export as much of it as possible! We have to make the world a safer place by ensuring that every street corner in the world has a McDonalds and Starbucks! Not to mention Plasma TVs and DVD players so that our current enemies are too busy drooling in front of the television to be worried about such a thing as killing Americans! (Don't laugh, I'm halfway serious.)

To sober up a bit, this is a silly restriction. Nearly all the information you can obtain in higher education can be now found on the Internet. Why bother even trying to restrict it? Besides, competition keeps the world healty. Without it, what desire is there to continue developing new and better technologies? Not to mention the matter of helping our fellow man. India has improved a lot, but my understanding is that there are still plenty of poverty-ridden areas. Many African countries are another good example of this. Why stop them from developing their country? If you want to be effective, close the legal holes in our own country that effectively allow for the import/out-sourcing of slave labor. (e.g. We should open our borders and allow people to legally immigrate in order to work, and then start prosecuting the abuses of the H1-B system.)

There's probably not too much that can be done about out-sourcing (other than ensuring working conditions are required to be to american code), but that doesn't matter quite as much. In a short period of time, the out-sourcing bubble is likely to collapse as companies find that they aren't saving money. Alternatively, foreign wages will rise to a sufficient degree to make such out-sourcing impractical.

Sorry about the American-centered post, but the original story is all about us and our laws. Europeans and other world residents may feel free to chime in with their anecdotes and feelings on the issue. :-)

Re:Wrong idea! (1, Insightful)

MrAnnoyanceToYou (654053) | more than 9 years ago | (#12592793)

competition keeps the world healty

Err... Yeah, competition in the realms of nuclear testing and missiles will give it that healthy, glowing complexion free of humans it's wanted for years.

Re:Wrong idea! (4, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 9 years ago | (#12592897)

Yeah, competition in the realms of nuclear testing and missiles will give it that healthy, glowing complexion free of humans it's wanted for years.

Or it could lead to better nuclear technology, including nuclear engines [wikipedia.org] and space travel [wikipedia.org] .

Truth be told, the cold war was the last vestige of a long age of war. Remember, WWI was primarily about nobility attempting to maintain power in a modern world, while WWII was about Eugenics and superiority through control of genetics. (Since proven to be absolute garbage.)

The cold war was the same issue: Governments trying to hold onto personal power over others. They got away with it because the system was touted as a modern form of government that was for the people and by the people. And like all such governments, it collapsed in the face of the true ideals of individual freedom. Anyone remember the television show "Dallas"? Who would have thought [wikipedia.org] that it could lead to the fall of communism in Romania?

Re:Wrong idea! (4, Insightful)

bman08 (239376) | more than 9 years ago | (#12593003)

A lot of folks (to use a Bushism to cover being too lazy to research exactly who) refer to the twentieth century as one long world war that just cooled off in a few places. The injustices of Versailles led two WW2 when led to the splitting of Europe between Western and Soviet influences.

Back on topic, this is a fucking retarded move. Another in a series of steps toward the end of America's golden age. Fellow Americans, our government is failing us in every conceivable way. Very few of our problems have their roots in the evils of furriners. Isolation serves only to cut us out of the equation. It's a bad play any way you slice it, and to see the ridiculous way it's being weilded WRT Indians vs. Saudis... ugh.

Oh please. (1, Insightful)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 9 years ago | (#12593061)

The cold war was the same issue: Governments trying to hold onto personal power over others. They got away with it because the system was touted as a modern form of government that was for the people and by the people. And like all such governments, it collapsed in the face of the true ideals of individual freedom. The US is a real shining beakon of human liberty. Where else can you get taserd by a cop for mouthing off? Where else but mighty America could doctors go to jail for proscribing pain medication? Where else could the government be free to confiscate land to build corporate headquarters and factories? Where else could the military be free to keep citizens locked up for years without trials or charges? Only in America!

Re:Wrong idea! (1)

Vicissidude (878310) | more than 9 years ago | (#12593164)

If lack of individual freedom was what caused a downfall in the Soviet Union, then we should have already seen China and a great deal of other countries fall. The Soviet Union collapsed because their centrally-controlled economic system was disasterously inefficient and they attempted to get into a defense spending war with the US. They effectively ended up bankrupting themselves.

The countries of concern listed in this article are China, Cuba, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Libya, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Sudan, and Syria. All have relatively different societies in terms of government and individual freedom. All all have great reasons for not sharing sensitive information with them.

The fact of the matter is that academics running their mouths off concerning sensitive data has hurt us significantly. The article even points this out with the example of Qian Xuesen. This guy was a Chinese student in the 1950s who excelled at both the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the California Institute of Technology. He went on to become the father of China's nuclear weapons program.

Now, the last time I checked, the Chinese government is still an evil, Communist dictatorship bent not only on the repression of it's people, but also of local countries such as Taiwan.

It sounds like a great idea to limit information that can be used for military purposes from students out of China. These students are going to go back to China some day. They'll need a job. And heaven knows, their government is going to want to hire them.

Re:Wrong idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12592797)

RTFA ... the restriction is only on "dual purpose technologies".

DVD players have yet to level 100+-story buildings.

Re:Wrong idea! (2, Informative)

Rei (128717) | more than 9 years ago | (#12593157)

No, but laser production and optics knowlege can be used for LIS (Laser Isotope Separation) in a variety of ways (AVLIS, where you charge only U235 in gasseous uranium and then ionically attract it to a target; MLIS where you disassociate fluorine from U235F6 to create different chemical properties; etc). Because of the difficulty of these processes, parts for these aren't regulated as well as parts for gas diffusion and gas centrifuge plants.

Of course, you want tunable dye lasers for LIS, and I'd imagine that DVD players use diode lasers, but if you're talking about a broad "optics" education, I imagine that you'd learn what you need to know.

Re:Wrong idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12592812)

I just modded you up so this is AC. How the F*** did you manage to read TFA and write such a long reasonable well thought out comment so fast?

Re:Wrong idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12592825)

See that * next to his username? He's a subscriber so he can see the story before it's posted.

Re:Wrong idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12592828)

It's resonable but off-topic... That's how.

He makes no mention of the beef or the article, which is that the restriction is on "dual purpose technologies", not DVD players or Starbucks.

Re:Wrong idea! (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 9 years ago | (#12592832)

He's a subscriber; that may have given him enough time.

He may also have already read the article linked to form elsewhere, of course.

Re:Wrong idea! (1)

MrAnnoyanceToYou (654053) | more than 9 years ago | (#12592835)

He's a subscriber. He got to the article 15 mins ago, notepadded it, and then FP'd on it.
I think his article isn't quite as good as you do, but I've already posted on that above. Go mod me up too.

Re:Wrong idea! (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 9 years ago | (#12592917)

Well, that explains how I went from +4 to +3 without getting modded down. I was rubbing my eyes at that for a second. :-)

Re:Wrong idea! (1)

stinerman (812158) | more than 9 years ago | (#12592847)

They've got it backwards! We don't want to restrict American information, we want to export as much of it as possible! We have to make the world a safer place by ensuring that every street corner in the world has a McDonalds and Starbucks! Not to mention Plasma TVs and DVD players so that our current enemies are too busy drooling in front of the television to be worried about such a thing as killing Americans! (Don't laugh, I'm halfway serious.)

Halfway is too serious (I apologize in advance if I'm missing your argument). If I'm not mistaken, some people used an airplane as a bomb because of (among other reasons) what you are describing above. This type of "culture exportation" is what is driving fundamentalist thinking in the Muslim world.

Or then again, it may be simply because the "suiciders" "hate freedom".

Re:Wrong idea! (2, Informative)

Radres (776901) | more than 9 years ago | (#12592964)

You're guilty of watching too much Fox News.

Here [informatio...house.info] is the real reason why we were attacked. It is because we were making military advancements on Muslim soil. Both "hating freedom" and "hating our society" were excuses that Bush came up with.

Re:Wrong idea! (5, Insightful)

s20451 (410424) | more than 9 years ago | (#12593050)

I'm always suspicious when somebody calls attention to the "real" reason. Is it too hard to understand that simple events have complex motivations?

Why did the attacks happen?

- Was it because US troops are on Muslim soil? The US has more foreign bases than any other nation, sometimes on seriously unfreindly territory (e.g., Cuba), almost all of which have provoked no suicide attacks.

- Was it because of cultural dominance? Then why aren't Canadians and Europeans bombing the hell out of the United States? They bear the worst of it.

- Was it because of the poverty of the Arab world? But most of the attackers were middle-class and well educated. This is also true of many Palestinian bombers. Furthermore, many Arab countries are well off.

- Was it for reasons that takes more than five seconds to describe? Most likely.

Re:Wrong idea! (5, Funny)

schemanista (739124) | more than 9 years ago | (#12593095)

Was it because of cultural dominance? Then why aren't Canadians and Europeans bombing the hell out of the United States? They bear the worst of it.

We've launched Bryan Adams, Nelly Furtado and Celine Dion at you. Damn you Americans for being impervious to our mind-control rays.

Re:Wrong idea! (1)

stinerman (812158) | more than 9 years ago | (#12593054)

This I know. Bin Laden's fatwa was required reading in my Mid-East Studies course. /. must have filtered my sarcasm tags. :-)

Re:Wrong idea! (1)

Cecil (37810) | more than 9 years ago | (#12593172)

If I'm not mistaken, some people used an airplane as a bomb because of (among other reasons) what you are describing above. This type of "culture exportation" is what is driving fundamentalist thinking in the Muslim world.

You're mistaken. They don't hate freedom, and they don't hate McDonalds. They hate the U.S. specifically, and to a slightly lesser extent the rest of the "Western" countries that support or at least do not stop them.

Why? Well, they hate the U.S. because of what they perceive to be U.S. support of Israel in their occupation of Palestine. They hate the U.S. because the widespread meddling in foreign policy in the middle-east for their own gain. But certainly, don't let myself or the pundits deceive you, the roots of today's terrorist violence go way way back into history. It started long before the Gulf war, long before the Iranian revolution, long before the Anglo-Iranian Oil company came to be, even before the Crusades. It's an extremely complex situation, and there's no easy way to dumb it down while still keeping it fair. Unfortunately, since most people (myself included) aren't professors of middle-eastern studies, or even students, it ends up getting dumbed down to things like "The terrorists hate freedom" which give people the impression that they kinda understand what's going on when the truth is they really don't even realize how deep it goes.

Re:Wrong idea! (5, Insightful)

metlin (258108) | more than 9 years ago | (#12592896)


Most students would simply go to another country without these restrictions, such as United Kingdom, Germany or other countries with good educational opportunities.

This is the US shooting itself in the foot - the international intelligentsia who come to the US contribute significantly to the American society. By restricting what they have access to, you're restricting their contributions.

Consequently, they'll simply go elsewhere, where there are similar opportunities without such draconic laws. The result? The US will lose out on a lot of very smart people who until now saw the US as a good destination for education and research.

And you must also keep in mind that a lot of these folks do stay back in the US after higher education and become permanent residents or citizens - discouraging them from studying and you've lost a lot of talent preemptively.

Re:Wrong idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12593071)

Yeah, whatever. We'll just write up and enforce straw-man patents to own whatever them furreners happen to come up with. After all, we're the only ones who REALLY understand it & thus we deserve the fruit.

No, I don't believe that this is true, nor do I think it's a viable strategy. Unfortunately, it's the only reasonable conclusion one can come to.

Re:Wrong idea! (1)

Chrontius (654879) | more than 9 years ago | (#12593087)

Consequently, they'll simply go elsewhere, where there are similar opportunities without such draconic laws. Actually, laws have nothing to do with furries or otherkin; the word you're looking for is draconian.

Re:Wrong idea! (1)

metlin (258108) | more than 9 years ago | (#12593135)

Actually, laws have nothing to do with furries or otherkin; the word you're looking for is draconian.

Both Merriam Websters [m-w.com] and Dictionary.com [reference.com] disagree with you.

Draconic is the same as draconian.

Re:Wrong idea! (3, Insightful)

brontus3927 (865730) | more than 9 years ago | (#12592926)

Besides, competition keeps the world healty. Without it, what desire is there to continue developing new and better technologies? Not to mention the matter of helping our fellow man.

Not that I'm condoning it, but the article does mention that it would be needed for dual-use technologies, which means things that could be used to advance another country's military technology. There are alerady licensing issues when exporting the technologies themselves (Want to launch a satelite from Brazil? Expect a lot of paperwork). THis is the realization that students could easily learn this in the US and then simply take their textbook, notebook, or even just memory back home to advance military science of their home country.

That said, I find the inherent racism of brainhum appaling. What makes an Iranian or Saudi inherently more dangerous than a Mexican, Indian, Russian, German, etc? And an Iranian-born Canadian citizen? jeez!

Re:Wrong idea! (4, Insightful)

metlin (258108) | more than 9 years ago | (#12592967)

My favourite quote from the article:

"When the Third Reich was emerging, they said that only Germans of pure Aryan descent could attend German universities. Significant numbers of German scholars departed," she says. "That was detrimental for Germany, but was glorious for the U.S.

"We got Einstein."


Ah, well.

Re:Wrong idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12593148)

"What makes an Iranian or Saudi inherently more dangerous than a Mexican, Indian, Russian, German, etc? "

Right here. [google.ca]

"Dr Carl Pfieffer proposed that the never ending cycle of violence in the Middle East was possibly related to the astronomical levels of Pyroluria found in the Middle East population."

Re:Wrong idea! (1)

goldspider (445116) | more than 9 years ago | (#12593162)

"What makes an Iranian or Saudi inherently more dangerous than a Mexican, Indian, Russian, German, etc?"

Call me racist, xenophobic or whatever, but perhaps it has something to do with the fact that those two countries harbor many groups and individuals who publicly wish to do America harm.

Not saying this policy is a good thing, just answering your question.

Re:Wrong idea! (2, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 9 years ago | (#12592945)

Not to mention Plasma TVs and DVD players . . . (Don't laugh, I'm halfway serious.)

I have a friend who, before the invasion of Afghanistan, argued that we shouldn't leave there until we insured that every household had a TV and DVD player.

He was serious. He considered that a sign of American democracy. I don't think he considered the irony inherent in our obtaining those particular items from China, an actual neighbor of Afghanistan.

". . .competition keeps the world healty."

Indeed. I lived through the Japanese coming over here with their "funny little cars" that GM and Ford laughed at, and watched those funny little cars procede to eat GM and Ford's lunch. Even the VW Beetle getting here first and selling well didn't buy them a clue. Had we been competing with the world all along this never would have been possible and we would have had better American cars all along. Now the car with the most American made content is a Honda (which serves as an example of how protectionism doesn't always work out the way you might expect. Approach that approach with caution).

Why stop them from developing their country?

But dude, then they'd be able to compete with us. What would be the point of having a World Bank to insure developing countries can never develop if we're just going to turn around and allow them to develop?

KFG

look at it this way, (1)

circusboy (580130) | more than 9 years ago | (#12593118)

An important part of U.S. foreign 'policy' is the ability to "Bomb %s back to the stone age!" $otherCountry;

Unless you advance these poor foreigners to our* level of dependence on technology, you devalue this strategy as an effective foreign policy.

Once you understand this, the rest of the errors, become much easier to understand. Anybody got a Stem cell?
___________________________________________ _______ _______
*Yes, I know there are many people here not from the U.S.

Re:Wrong idea! (1)

farker haiku (883529) | more than 9 years ago | (#12593001)

Nearly all the information you can obtain in higher education can be now found on the Internet. Why bother even trying to restrict it?


While it's nearly all now, in a few years MIT will have put all of their course references and syllibi on the internet(for free). Hopefully this will cause a few other prestigious schools to follow suit. Education should be free... the paper that proves you know your stuff should not. /yeah yeah, off topic.

Re:Wrong idea! (2, Insightful)

RWerp (798951) | more than 9 years ago | (#12593016)

Just my two cents: given the fact that science in America was developed by generations of people who came from Europe and other parts of the world (Michelson, Einstein, Ulam ...), it's a very selfish and egoistic move.

Ummm? (4, Interesting)

Shky (703024) | more than 9 years ago | (#12592802)

How much oil is the US getting from India?


(Note, I haven't read TFA, so I really don't have an informed opinion of what's going on, it was just a thought that struck me.)

Re:Ummm? (1)

Russ Nelson (33911) | more than 9 years ago | (#12592817)

How much oil is the US getting from Canada?
-russ

Re:Ummm? (1)

stinerman (812158) | more than 9 years ago | (#12592868)

IIRC, we get much more oil from Canada than one would think. I think its more than we get from OPEC countries. Of course, if someone can provide good data, I stand corrected.

Re:Ummm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12592960)

No, your about right, although the numbers change from year to year.

http://ask.yahoo.com/ask/20030919.html [yahoo.com] says something like

# 17.8% from Saudi Arabia
# 16.5% from Canada
# 12.8% from Venezuela
# 12.0% from Mexico
# 7.5% from Nigeria

We have a buttload of oil. Kinda makes you wonder why we are paying roughly 3.40 (cdn) a gallon, doesn't it?

Re:Ummm? (2, Insightful)

mattdm (1931) | more than 9 years ago | (#12593062)

Kinda makes you wonder why we are paying roughly 3.40 (cdn) a gallon, doesn't it?

That's like, $0.34 US, right?

Only kidding. In seriousness, it's probably because taxation helps cover (i.e., make direct) some of the external costs of gasoline use rather than, to put it bluntly, subsidizing the destruction of the environment.

There *are* real costs associated with dumping pollutants into the air, but the simple economy doesn't account for them -- one of the reasons we're basically all going to hell in a high-speed handbasket.

Re:Ummm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12592887)

I think we get a third of our oil from Canada.

Seriously.

They have the second largest oil reserve in the world....

Re:Ummm? (1)

clgoh (106162) | more than 9 years ago | (#12592919)

Quite lot. [doe.gov]

Re:Ummm? (1)

Shky (703024) | more than 9 years ago | (#12592920)

"Canada sends over 99% of its crude oil exports to the U.S., and the country is one of the most important sources of U.S. oil imports." -http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/canada.html [doe.gov]
,br> I guess a lot, then.

Re:Ummm? (1)

gvc (167165) | more than 9 years ago | (#12592928)

Frem the CIA Factbook (Canada) [cia.gov] :

Oil - production:
3.11 million bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - consumption:
2.2 million bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports:
1.37 million bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports:
987,000 bbl/day (2004)

Re:Ummm? (1)

justanyone (308934) | more than 9 years ago | (#12593097)

None. India is not a significant world exporter of petroleum products.

If the question really is, "How much comparative political & economic pull does India have vs. Saudi Arabia?", the answer would seem to be similar. However, India is not ruled by a monolithic elite family that would be easily offended by such a gesture.

The point is really moot. Foreign relations with neither country would be harmed materially by such a rule in the long term.

Foreign and domestic economic policy dictates (arguably) for the rest of the world to become industrialized and middle class folk. This is the ideal situation for the United States both militarily and economically. Militarily, if you pick any set of democratic, fully industrialized nations with large middle class populations, you'd be hard pressed to find them starting wars with each other (exclude the U.S. from this list since our superpower status is not at issue here).

Economically, if the rest of the world was populated by equally middle class democratically-ruled open societies, I daresay the richest countries would be the ones with the best educated and hardest working populaces. Cultural geography plays a role in this. Should we (the U.S.) educate the world's population freely (without blacklists or artificial hurdles)?

YES, but that doesn't mean we should blindly allow Iranian, North Korean, Myanmarian (pick a repressive regime / dictatorship) citizens to study Nuclear Engineering or get advanced degrees in aerospace engineering (missle tech).

Math, fine. Econ, fine. Architectural Engineering, fine. No bioweapons, nukes, or ICBMs, please.

-- Kevin Rice

India has a nuclear weapons program (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12593180)

Saudi Arabia does not.

To be fair (0, Troll)

SCVirus (774240) | more than 9 years ago | (#12592821)

Going to a university is unlikely to help you kill Americans, but it is very likely to give you skills to take America down a peg economicly.

Re:To be fair (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 9 years ago | (#12592935)

Not if you stay here, as the best of them often do, provided of course we make them feel welcome.

Re:To be fair (1)

creativity (885623) | more than 9 years ago | (#12593015)

I think you must enter the halls of a university or look up publication records. Indian students actually contribute to the research in the states, where will the tech go .

And always remember... (3, Funny)

BandwidthHog (257320) | more than 9 years ago | (#12592823)

It is vitally important to get a receipt when using the lavatory!

Re:And always remember... (1)

sepluv (641107) | more than 9 years ago | (#12592852)

ROFLMAO. So very true of the US of A these days, unfortunately.

Re:And always remember... (1)

sepluv (641107) | more than 9 years ago | (#12592901)

I guess this law creates genuine thought crime in the US.

However, at least, in the US, it is not possible (at all) for (wetware) thinking or memory to violate copyright law, as it is, at least theoretically, in the UK--where I am.

Re:And always remember... (1)

MrP-(at work) (839979) | more than 9 years ago | (#12592974)

nice h2g2 reference

Re:And always remember... (1)

metlin (258108) | more than 9 years ago | (#12593094)

Oh man, that was too funny.

Sad, too - unfortunately. Better give back everything to Uncle Sam when you leave, including the remnants of your soul.

SHIT! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12592826)

I JUST BURNED MY SNATCH!

Another reason for IP (1)

null etc. (524767) | more than 9 years ago | (#12592827)

All the more reason to patent and copyright everything! See, the world doesn't have to worry about handing over proprietary or critical technologies, as long as we arm (literally) the RIAA and MPAA, and patent lawyers, with automatic weapons and a license to kill.

My Take (3, Interesting)

mfh (56) | more than 9 years ago | (#12592840)

This is not about terrorism, this export tax. It's about people going to the US to study and work in America, who are from India, and then taking the knowledge back to India, along with all the business.

My opinion is that it's a free country, but does that make it a free world? Should people be able to move all the business out of one country to simply make a buck? Maybe that's not ethical if you're gaining the knowledge from the country in question. But maybe there is a better twist to it...

I'm Canadian and I have tried outsourcing to the US before with my LAMP [wikipedia.org] knowledge (PHP). The pay simply sucks. I can get more money doing local work for charities than working for someone abroad. The pay is that bad. So if Joe American wants to pay that to India to get better positioning for their company's budget -- I'm all for it. Why? Because now I can compete directly against the Indian firm on QUALITY -- something they can't compete on because they just don't have the time with all this new business coming in, IMHO.

I take more time to be sure the job is well done, and that reinforces the expression that you get what you pay for.

Re:My Take (2, Insightful)

Adult film producer (866485) | more than 9 years ago | (#12592922)

huh? The u.s. has a monopoly or some sort of copywrite on the fountain of knowledge... since when ? They paid for their education, one way or another. This reminds of the way the average american thinks in regards to nuclear weapons. Somehow, someway, America was blessed by the grace of god to unearth the secrets of the Atom... we did it before everybody else.. therefore it must be some god given right to possess vast stores of nuclear armaments.

These same people sit around all befuddled as to why North Korea has nuclear weapons. And they won't believe you if you mention India had them in 73, Pakistan had an active nuclear program running in the late 70's (most probably had nuclear weapons in the mid 80's, untested till the nineties iirc.)

This is just a stop-gap measure, it's too little, too late. India already has proven cryogenic rocket boosters. And only just emphasizes this war on terrorism is a load of god damn bullshit.
--
Random Signature #1
Generated by SlashdotRndSig [snop.com] via GreaseMonkey [mozdev.org]

Not terribly odd. (1)

loraksus (171574) | more than 9 years ago | (#12592855)

Students from India, which has cordial relations with the U.S., will need licenses to study, but students from Saudi Arabia -- home country for most of the participants in the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington, and much of the financing and ideology behind Islamist terrorism -- will not.

Ahh. Cognitive Dissonance, well, maybe in 10 or 15 years we will get over this and do stuff that is kind of intelligent. (Although it could be that India has nukes and the Saudis have Isreal right next door to them, which seems to sum up US foreign policy in the past couple of years pretty well)

Already partly done... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12592894)

Last I checked India already had nukes.

Re:Not terribly odd. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12593099)

The problem is that in 10-15 years it won't matter. The good Ole USA will be a backwater. Don't you worry the jobs will all come back to the US -- after China, India and the Republics formerly known as the USSR have raised their standards of living some and the US has sunk far enough to make our labor cheap. The world is flat folks -- the only way to stay ahead of the global average for standard of living is out innovate everybody else. That requires people who are studying something other than law.

Hypocrisy..? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12592857)

This is very definition of hypocrisy!

Decline (4, Insightful)

El Cabri (13930) | more than 9 years ago | (#12592870)

This is another nail in the coffin of the US education industry. Universities in Canada and Australia probably celebrated the news with champagne.

Re:Decline (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 9 years ago | (#12593064)

Something about education and industry togeather...bug me.

I'm sure it's irrational thought on my part. But..when money and marketing go into education...

Re:Decline (1)

El Cabri (13930) | more than 9 years ago | (#12593160)

Well then know that tuition paid by foreign students in US universities are vital for funding these and hence keep the domestic tuitions from increasing even more. And on the macroeconomic scale it is a sizeable ease on the country's abysmal trade deficit.

Doubt anyone celebrated. (1)

nuggz (69912) | more than 9 years ago | (#12593069)

If the US has export controls on goods they carry over to Canada.
For example, the US military has rules against on foreigners working on certain parts of military programs.

Canada is not considered "foreign" in some cases, which makes us exempt from some of these restrictions, however the factories must comply with the (arguably racist) US policy.

The way around this is that "Ethnic Origin" is a functional job requirement for these projects.

OSAMA HAS WON! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12592877)

The war in Afghanistan is not body count or political power. It is about fundamentalist ideology, and it is taking over the U.S. Osama has won!

Re:OSAMA HAS WON! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12592949)

No , its about oil and hali-burton.
Oil is money and money is power .
The best gouvernment your corperations can afford

Re:OSAMA HAS WON! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12593041)

Do you expect to be taken seriously when you cannot correctly spell government?

He has LOST (-1, Flamebait)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 9 years ago | (#12593142)

Because America isn't built around Islamic Law, and we are winning the war against the fundimentalists. Ya, there is abody count in Iraq. But they (the walking/talking kamakazi bombs) are losing more lives then we are.

Hardest workers (3, Insightful)

kaamos (647337) | more than 9 years ago | (#12592882)

Granted, I'm from canada, but work as an undergraduate student on a civil engineering project, with the brains being an Iranian post-doctorate student. The foreign students always seem to be the hardest workers around the University, it's incredible. Even if I consider myself generous of my time, most of these people never look at the time, and pull incredible shifts, coming in during the weekends and staying late to finish off presentations for next week. I cannot imagine this being any different in the USA. I'm not sure governement workers will pull long hours to grant those permits. Modern day research cannot allow itself such a blatent chokepoint.

Re:Hardest workers (1)

Necromancyr (602950) | more than 9 years ago | (#12593158)

One thing I've noticed in getting my PhD that while the foreign students do spend TONS of time in the lab, many I've seen don't actually get much done. The way I normally put it is that you CAN spend 20 hours a day in the lab, but if for 10 of those hours your waiting for an experiment to finish so you can do the next step, what the heck is the point? While the American student would leave and go out with friends/family/etc., many foreign students don't have that base there and simply stay in the lab. I'm not trying to make a blanket statement, but it seems that way for many. I wonder how it would be with an American student in a foreign country with no real friends/family structure where all they really had was work and if something similar would occur.

America is no longer a free world (1, Flamebait)

microbee (682094) | more than 9 years ago | (#12592883)

Wake up everyday and find this country is becoming more and more conservative and restrictive. But what do we know? The "people" supposedly elected the right administration for them, so whether they joy and suffer is their own choice.

Re:America is no longer a free world (2, Insightful)

0kComputer (872064) | more than 9 years ago | (#12593027)

I wouldn't call a 3% win [cnn.com] a mandate, no matter what our president wants you to believe. Believe it or not, there are intelligent people here; just not enough of 'em :(

Uh huh. (4, Interesting)

Shky (703024) | more than 9 years ago | (#12592885)

Students from India, which has cordial relations with the U.S., will need licenses to study, but students from Saudi Arabia -- home country for most of the participants in the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington, and much of the financing and ideology behind Islamist terrorism -- will not.

I think what's far scarier is that the country that Timothy McVeigh and Ted Kaczynski come from doesn't have this restriction. They're able to go to US universities without licenses.

Hidden Agenda? (5, Insightful)

Nytewynd (829901) | more than 9 years ago | (#12592900)

It seems that by if this were in the interest of security, they would be required to include Saudi Arabi in the list of contries. By including India, it almost seems like a backwards attempt to limit foreign students from replacing Americans in the technical fields. I am not sure if that is a conspiracy theory/tinfoil hat kind of thought, but something seems odd about this entire piece of legislation.

First of all, like someone mentioned, anything you can learn in the US in a classroom is already published somewhere. The same textbook you buy for your class is probably on Amazon.com for anyone in any country to purchase. Teaching an Indian student about Nuclear Engineering is really not a security concern. If that student was intent on learning nuclear technology to create WMDs, there are other countries they could go to anyway to learn.

Placing restrictions on education is the last thing we should be doing. With the general population dumbing down, we should be accepting anyone willing to learn. Highly educated people are becoming few and far between. I don't care if the next guy that designs the power plant that keeps my house lit up is Indian or American, as long as someone learns how to do it.

I don't want to get politcal, but this seems like a situation entirely fabricated by the government for some kind of hidden agenda.

Re:Hidden Agenda? (1)

Samrobb (12731) | more than 9 years ago | (#12593108)

It seems that by if this were in the interest of security, they would be required to include Saudi Arabi in the list of contries.

Wow. It's almost as if they expect that Saudi Arabia will cease to be any sort of threat to the US in the near future! I wonder why they would think that...

Re:Hidden Agenda? (1)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 9 years ago | (#12593111)

Number of nuclear programs in India: 1
Number of nuclear programs in Saudi Arabia: 0


I think that about sums it up. It's a stupid policy, but India did test nukes knowing they were going to incur sanctions.

Saudi Arabia... (2, Interesting)

LegendOfLink (574790) | more than 9 years ago | (#12592902)

Somebody please explain why our government panders to a the terrorist capitol of the world.

Re:Saudi Arabia... (2, Insightful)

0kComputer (872064) | more than 9 years ago | (#12592957)

Somebody please explain why our government panders to a the terrorist capitol of the world.

I'll give you a hint [oil.com]

Re:Saudi Arabia... (1)

smcavoy (114157) | more than 9 years ago | (#12593002)

are you kidding?

Re:Saudi Arabia... (1)

Malizar (553281) | more than 9 years ago | (#12593029)

Because of a 3 letter word, starts with O ends with L.

Re:Saudi Arabia... (4, Informative)

cperciva (102828) | more than 9 years ago | (#12593072)

Somebody please explain why our government panders to a the terrorist capitol of the world.

The Saudi Arabian government panders to the terrorist capitol of the world because the US government is headed by their friends.

Downright discriminatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12592910)

This is discriminatory almost bordering on racism and is going to hurt the quality of the work. If a professor in my department(CS) gets funding from the army or NASA, he has to ignore all the Indians and Chinese students for the RA since licensing could take ages and look for even mediocre students from other countries. Would that grad student be upto it even if he could find one?

(I don't mean to say that ppl from the other countries are mediocre but that the decision will now not depend on merit only like earlier, there are good and bad students in and from every country.)

What does this have to do with anything? (4, Insightful)

El Cubano (631386) | more than 9 years ago | (#12592934)

but students from Saudi Arabia -- home country for most of the participants in the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington, and much of the financing and ideology behind Islamist terrorism -- will not.

Aside from making me wish I could mod the article -1, Flamebait, what does this matter? The only possible purpose to this statement is to inflame the debate.

NEWS FLASH: The USofA is home to the majority of terrorists that have attacked abortion clinics and is the source of the financing and ideology of right wing militants. We should immediately move to ensure that all Americans that attend universities apply for licenses to use the knowledge the acquire.

Ridiculous, right? Feel better now?

Re:What does this have to do with anything? (1)

haluness (219661) | more than 9 years ago | (#12593049)

but students from Saudi Arabia -- home country for most of the participants in the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington, and much of the financing and ideology behind Islamist terrorism -- will not.



Aside from making me wish I could mod the article -1, Flamebait, what does this matter? The only possible purpose to this statement is to inflame the debate.


I don't think its flamebait. If the legislation does go ahead with this type of differentiation, then the question does indeed arise - whats special about Saudia Arabia that they do not require a license? Is the list of countries requiring licenses based on a friend/foe distinction? (It would appear to be)

Of course, for people who are going to go by their knee jerk reactions,this is flamebait.

But ignoring them for the moment, it is an interesting point.

IMHO, money (from oil) seems to be the deciding factor here

Re:What does this have to do with anything? (3, Insightful)

Nytewynd (829901) | more than 9 years ago | (#12593140)

The relevance is that this is being introduced in the name of security. The point is to restrict education of possible military knowledge to people from countries we are worried about. That is exactly how Saudi Arabia fits into the issue. It's not a slam on Saudi Arabi, nor is anyone saying that Saudi Arabians are all evil, but if you are restricting people based on the potential military threat of their home country, Saudi Arabia probably should be at the top of the list.

The USA is definitely overpopulated with it's own terrorist. That is one reason I hate how all of a sudden the general population thinks all Muslims are secretly plotting the annihilation of our country. These same people that apparently love freedom, democracy and the US are the ones harassing people exercising their freedom of choice at the clinics. Apparently, to some people freedom is only a good thing when it is a subset of things you agree with.

These types of issues are used as scare tactics by politicians. It works for them because people don't think about things. They believe most of what they are told.

Re:What does this have to do with anything? (4, Insightful)

Quixote (154172) | more than 9 years ago | (#12593166)

Well, the submitter was merely pointing out a logical fallacy behind the purported reasoning of these (proposed?) restrictions.

If the idea indeed is to deny knowledge to potential enemies, it makes sense to see who these "enemies" are. And looking at the fact that the majority of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi; Bin Laden is a Saudi; many of the others in the Al Qaeda hierarchy are Saudi; it would make sense to include Saudis in this set of restricted students. Now, to not put restrictions on Saudis and then turn around and place such restrictions on Indians (to name a group) who have had no involvement whatsoever in terrorism against the US and EU, defies logic, doesn't it??

Restrict Entry Instead (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 9 years ago | (#12592959)

Instead of some bogus 'licensing' scheme that no one will follow anyway once they leave the country, just bar access to our school system ( or even the country totally ) to undesirables.

Problem solved.

What if they write the software? (1)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 9 years ago | (#12592965)

Well, if we're talking about indians they'll probably be writing the software themselves. Will they need to apply for an import license to turn in their homework?

India is working on the bomb, but come on. if they really wanted to "leak" something they'd just pirate it. If software is available to collage students it can't be that important.

Re:What if they write the software? (1)

big-giant-head (148077) | more than 9 years ago | (#12593100)

India has been a nuclear power for quite a few years... so is Pakistan.

Collage Students (2, Funny)

subl33t (739983) | more than 9 years ago | (#12593121)

If software is available to collage students it can't be that important.

What kind of software do collage students use? Something that involves a lot of cut n paste?

impractical (1)

wheatking (608436) | more than 9 years ago | (#12592968)

and how do they plan to enforce it or police it if enacted? also, if foreign born graduate students are a concern, the H1B/GreenCard bearing foreign born workers should be an even bigger concern. this brick don't fly.

Zonk = Racist! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12592985)

but students from Saudi Arabia -- home country for most of the participants in the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington, and much of the financing and ideology behind Islamist terrorism -- will not.'

So? You're saying the students should be held accountable for the extremists in Saudi Arabia? So it's OK to murder your family for the crimes of the US government?

Isn't all the information in... Text books? (2, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 9 years ago | (#12593000)

Which you can buy in... Book shops?

exporting knowledge (3, Insightful)

wk633 (442820) | more than 9 years ago | (#12593024)

This is akin to the law which prohibited "Applied Cryptography" to be exported with the floppy disk, which had source code listings from the book. The book (with the text version of the source) was fine, just not the disk with the magnetic version.

Because we all know foreigners are too dumb to use an OCR scanner...

Obligatory quote... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12593043)

...that the terrorists have already won.

Well d'uh (1)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 9 years ago | (#12593053)

Now look, it might _seem_ like a double standard foreign policy but if you think about it its not: Yes its true some of the hi-jackers came from Saudi Arabia, and yes the Saudi government has been very slightly un-cooperative recently (some restrictions on nuclear inspections or something) and ok they have committed a few minor human rights violations (who hasn't?) and yes they do have a bit of a clout in the oil market, but really this putting Saudi Arabia down as some sort of totalitarian inhumane state that's living 200 years behind the west has got to stop! Saudi Arabia is an ally but those evil un-democratic Indians are not and so we must be careful.

That's the problem! (3, Funny)

AnObfuscator (812343) | more than 9 years ago | (#12593077)

It's those evil Canadians! They're trying to export our top secret TEXTBOOKS and even... *gasp* our LECTURE NOTES! They must be STOPPED at ONCE!

More red tape please... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 9 years ago | (#12593102)

Seems like the Department of Commerce has been left out of getting some of the money for the war on terrorism. So they create some new regulations that need to be enforced to protect America from foreign students who could assemble an WMD to carry in their backpack and bang Congress for more money. Won't be long before the EPA requires a license to fart since everyone knows that's environmental terrorism if that was done in a crowded room.

Frist psoBt (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12593126)

wYindow5, SUN or [goat.cx]

Intellectual Protectionism (0, Troll)

lheal (86013) | more than 9 years ago | (#12593154)

Incredible.

What happened to our ideals? I was taught that educating people, filling their heads with knowledge, also filled their hearts with respect for the society doing the teaching.

That's traditionally why military officers went to college.

And it's true: a professor stands in front of the class giving his political opinion between items in the subject matter. Students absorb it readily, since their guard is down - it has to be, or they won't be able to ace that test on Thursday.

I wonder if it's a side-effect of the reputation American academia has for expressing anti-American sentiment. If colleges and universities were known for talking up the US as the Land of the Free and the Home of the, etc., do you think the government would be trying to limit foreign citizens from exposure to it?

As it is, trying to regulate which people can learn what in the age of the Internet is like trying to control where the rain comes from or which way the wind blows when it leaves.

It will be the same (3, Insightful)

DJ Marvin (750482) | more than 9 years ago | (#12593168)

This law is just another blindfold for the ones that think the government should do something to "stop those terrorists and competitors to know as much as we do". It will change nothing. The US is as advanced as many countries in Europe, and even behind Japan and some other countries in some technologies.

I fail to see how restricting anything in the universities will help avoid terrorism, when the terrorists (Osama, etc) that planned 9/11 were trained by US military. Oh! Wait! maybe they _did_ take a degree in MIT...

And taking nationality into account is such a lame measure as any other: you have Al-Quaeda in the middle east, ETA in Spain, IRA in Ireland, Drug dealers in Colombia, etc. Your country of origin has nothing to do with you bieng a fscking fanatic. Last time I checked, some _fanatics_ were trying to pass a law to make all schools teach creationism in Alabama...

OK, with the way things are going, some time from now, our beloved government may even ban citizens from going outside the US. Did anyone say Cuba???
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