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Can the US Stop the Illegal Export of Its Technology? 351

Posted by samzenpus
from the not-a-chance dept.
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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Can the US Stop the Illegal Export of Its Technology?

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  • by SupremoMan (912191) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @08:15PM (#25563349)
    We just outsource the means of producing it en masse. Semantics count people!
    • 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.

    • by EmbeddedJanitor (597831) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @10:36PM (#25564589)
      This is as old as the hills. When I lived in apartheid South Africa in the 1980s the sanctions made it illegal to export various chips to South Africa. They still got there disguised as legal electronic components. The middle men made a killing. Limiting availability might have made USA etc voters happy, but all that really happened was that the South African military industry got a shot in the arm, building its own stuff and selling it to other willing customers. Same deal for the South African nuclear program.

      Nothing much has changed. Smaller stuff like special electronics can be easily hidden inside perfectly legal consumer electronic devices and the $8/hr TSA guy working at the airport will never know the difference. Unless you completely seal borders (??how??) and cut off all tourism etc, you're just doing it for show.

  • 11111111 (Score:5, Funny)

    by Chillintau (1169599) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @08:17PM (#25563375)
    Good thing there wasn't another attempt, otherwise the counter would've overflowed.
  • Why worry about losing it when through embrace and extend we don't?

    At least until someone yells antitrust.

  • but... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JustNiz (692889) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @08:18PM (#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... (Score:4, Funny)

      by Andr T. (1006215) <andretaff@noSPam.gmail.com> on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @08:25PM (#25563481)
      I had this idea before you posted it. You thief!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Absolutely not. The laws of physics apply only to Americans.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Tablizer (95088)

      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: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Fluffeh (1273756)

        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.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by PachmanP (881352)

          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.

          We'd be speaking Russian? Or German? Or maybe Chinese? Although maybe if you were blond and fair skinned it would be a utopia. Or maybe without the threat of the capitalists the communist utopia would have been achieved. That said I'm of the opinion that if someone doesn't have a really big stick all the people with medium sticks would spend ALL of their time trying to beat the sh*t out of the people with slightly smaller sticks... At least until the guys with the rocks started teaming up...

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Fluffeh (1273756)
            What I meant to ask really is I would love to know what the world would be like if everyone decided to do away with their sticks.

            Would a lack of big sticks effectively breed out the smaller sticks? Would there be a need for someone to go make a medium stick if there wasn't anyone with a bigger stick to start with?

            To make a less vague example: If the US spent the money it has on the War in Iraq/Afghanistan on humanitarian efforts in those exact same countries would there still be such a level of insur
    • 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?

      • by MightyYar (622222) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @09:15PM (#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?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        But this [wikipedia.org] is surely a US invented technology... and IMHO nothing to be proud of, as it already caused famines in Africa...

        According to the link you gave, "The technology was under development by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Delta and Pine Land company in the 1990s and is not yet commercially available. "

        If it's never been used, how could it already have caused famines?

      • 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.

        Bad link, I think you really mean this. [wikipedia.org]

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Ihmhi (1206036)

          Ever see Lord of War? If a Terminator was ever set loose in Africa, as soon as someone found out he was made of scrappable metal he would have been stripped bare.

    • they would have no need to buy our overpriced crap.
    • by DrBuzzo (913503)
      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 cop
    • 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

    • 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, o

    • 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 r

    • by blincoln (592401)

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

      The US seems to be the only country with advanced uncooled thermal imaging technology. Earlier this year I read a story about several Chinese being caught trying to smuggle thermal imagers out of the US and into China (presumably for reverse-engineering and cloning).

      I suppose this makes me a "traitor", but I actually hope they succeed in grabbing that technology. I'd love to buy a thermal imager, es

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      It has nothing to do with arrogance or "IP" in the usual slashdot sense of the word. These export compliance laws have everything to do with countries we are attempting to sanction for whatever reasons.

      For computers of the grade I work on there are some 7-8 countries we are simply not allowed to sell to (mostly middle eastern), not even if it's through a local US based exporter. Considerable effort is made on our part to try to uncover the ultimate destination of your machine(s). I would recommend, for exam

    • As far as the military aspects are concerned (which I'm willing to bet are the majority of the cases), it's not about who does and doesn't have the technologies. It's about the possibility of vulnerabilities being discovered and taken advantage of by our present and future enemies (in other words everyone).

      Take cryptography used to encrypt radio traffic for the Air Force; yeah, we believe that the encryption would be nearly impossible to break. But given a working piece of hardware, if a vulnerability exi

    • by Xeth (614132)

      No, it's not.

      There's two things we're talking about in this situation. The first is advanced military technology. Most other countries do not have these things, if only because their military R&D budgets are smaller. This is aircraft parts, nuclear technology, etc.

      The other thing is regular small arms. Nobody is saying that you can't get those things elsewhere, but that America shouldn't necessarily export those anywhere in any quantity. To, you know, stop random warlords or organized crime from being

    • 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.

      I think you'll find that technologies commonly found outside the U.S. don't see a lot of demand for smugglers to sneak them out of the U.S. illegally.

  • 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...

    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      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.

  • by DancesWithBlowTorch (809750) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @08:20PM (#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.

  • And the Answer Is (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PingPongBoy (303994) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @08:21PM (#25563441)

    Yes.

    Of course, by legalizing it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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.

      • Security through obscurity does not work. The F22 is no more advanced than a military jet any country produce if they wanted too. If the Russians or Chinese wanted to produce stealth fighters to fight the US, it would come down to who has more high quality aircraft production facilities NOT who has better designs.

      • 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.

        Have some kids, and teach them some math then.

        China, Russia, Israel, and Iran, are some of our best technical feeder schools. The training gap, between American-born students and foreign-born students in the US, is growing. Don't let the mounting grade inflation, of our ivy league schools and mainstream technical universities, give you a false sense of peace and securi

    • Re:And the Answer Is (Score:5, Interesting)

      by s_p_oneil (795792) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @09:29PM (#25564065) Homepage
      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. ;-)
    • by Zebra_X (13249)

      It is legal to export, to the right parties. You also need to get an export license.

  • Shocking (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kipin (981566) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @08:23PM (#25563455) Homepage
    Keep adding additional rules, regulations and laws and people tend to start breaking more laws since more of them exist to break.
  • by overshoot (39700) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @08:27PM (#25563497)
    were commodities readily available elsewhere but restricted, like standard cryptographic algorithms, from export from the USA -- even if they were originally imported?
  • Is it for real? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spaceyhackerlady (462530) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @08:28PM (#25563501)

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

    ...laura

    • by FlyingGuy (989135)

      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

  • Exporting DRM (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cpghost (719344) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @08:33PM (#25563549) Homepage
    Where, oh where is the DoC and DoJ when it comes to forbidding the export of this abomination called DRM?
  • by giorgist (1208992) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @08:35PM (#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
  • by maglor_83 (856254) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @08:40PM (#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?

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

    • by jlarocco (851450)

      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.

  • by Geoffrey.landis (926948) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @08:48PM (#25563685) Homepage
    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"

  • it works both ways (Score:4, Informative)

    by BigBadBus (653823) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @08:54PM (#25563735) Homepage
    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.
  • 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.

  • 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

  • by Animats (122034) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @09:03PM (#25563835) Homepage

    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.

    • by PetriBORG (518266)
      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.

    • by Detritus (11846)
      The underlying technology is important. China may have some technology, but that is no reason to make it easy for them to upgrade their systems to the current state=of-the-art. Let them spend many decades and billions of dollars like the USA and USSR/Russia. We may not be able to stop them, but we can slow them down.
  • 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

  • Sure (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SleepyHappyDoc (813919) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @09:06PM (#25563869)

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

  • 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.
  • 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

  • by circletimessquare (444983) <circletimessquare AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @09:26PM (#25564045) Homepage Journal

    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

    • 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

      Absolutely, positively true. My stroll down Tehran while visiting there taught me one thing. All of the U.S. commercial bans against Iran may stop American companies from selling stuff to them, but it sure doesn't stop a European middle-man from buying in bulk and selling to Iran.

    • by PPH (736903) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @12:30AM (#25565279)

      The problems start if you are a US company, building something for the average Joe and the Pentagon would like to buy one. Like some sort of advanced GPU for high performance gaming that could also be used for processing radar images or SIGINT [wikipedia.org] and cryptanalysis. Suddenly, your chip becomes restricted under the jurisdiction of ITAR [wikipedia.org]. So, if you are smart, you incorporate offshore and have your chips made at foreign founderies. You have your R&D subcontracted to firms in India or Russia. Then you can ship your stuff around the world freely. If the DoD wants some for one of its projects, you direct them to these foreign sources.

      If you are feeling real nasty, you can set your government sales office up in Tehran, Havana, or Pyongyang. Or France.

  • Huh? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gweihir (88907) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @09:32PM (#25564095)

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

  • 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

    Why is the DoJ talking in fiscal years? Has law become a profit center lately? :-P

    Cheers

    • by CompMD (522020)

      The DOJ doesn't operate in fiscal years, the companies (the ones that took losses from industrial espionage and illegal exports) do operate in fiscal years though.

  • by quax (19371) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @10:23PM (#25564475)

    Recently I was forced to sit through an online training with regards to US export controls. The regulations are insane. I came away wondering why any high tech company would want to incorporate in the US with these kind of laws on the book. For instance you could be in violation if you show foreign visitors around your company and they get a fleeting look at a white-board that discusses a strong encryption algorithm. Same thing if you discuss such a "sensitive" technology on the phone with a foreigner. Absolutely and totally nuts.

    • by blackcoot (124938) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @03:19AM (#25566031)

      as someone on the other side (us citizen working on ITAR restricted technologies / programs that _require_ collaborating with foreign nationals), i can vouch for just how massive a pain-in-the-ass ITAR is:

      i can't talk to foreign national colleagues about anything other than the weather.
      i can't deal with foreign vendors.
      i can't buy parts from foreign companies unless we have import licenses on file.
      i can't get support without first having to filter all questions through a company export officer.
      i can't ship equipment for repair if it has to leave the us (novatel, i'm looking at *you*)
      i can't share interface definitions or software process documents without an export license.

      really, the restrictions verge on the absurd, especially when you consider that the papers describing most of the interesting technologies that i work on are published in international journals and freely available, often themselves as a result of gov't funded research.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by walterbyrd (182728)

      For instance you could be in violation if you show foreign visitors around your company and they get a fleeting look at a white-board that discusses a strong encryption algorithm.

      Maybe that's just a bad example, but I don't see that as "nuts" at all. If you were writing the requlations, how would you put it? "Foreign visitors can look at sensitive claissified data, but only for n seconds, and only if . . . ?" Isn't it much easier, and more sensible, to say "foreign visitors can not look at such data?"

  • Bizarre Math (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bob9113 (14996) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @11:11PM (#25564809) Homepage

    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.

    Apparently they went to the "baffle them with bullshit" school of math - if the above is an accurate depiction.

    In 2005, 40 individuals were convicted.
    In 2007 and 2008 combined, 255 were indicted.

    In 2005, enforcement effort was ???
    In 2005, indictment count was ???
    In 2007 and 2008 combined, conviction count was ???
    In 2007 and 2008, enforcement effort was ???

    From the above, we can conclude: very little. The only thing we can say for sure about those numbers is that "six-fold increase" is bullshit. If every single one of those 255 individuals indicted is convicted on at least one count (extremely unlikely), the annual rate is only 127.5, which is only 3x. Even that would only speak of conviction rates, not attempt rates. Enforcement has almost certainly increased given the general increase in federal participation in intellectual property and trade secret law.

    I'm not saying it has not grown, nor whether it should be a greater or lesser focus at the federal level. But the above statement, if accurately portrayed, is disingenuous at best, and deceitful at worst.

    The first step in having a serious discourse about federal policy is to present the issue honestly.

  • by Almost-Retired (637760) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @12:32PM (#25571167)

    Allowing Hitachi America to get away with exporting a multiaxis milling machine complete with the software to drive it. Up till then, the screws on russian subs were so noisy, and each sub had their own unique noise signature that our hydrophone listening devices scattered about the ocean could identify what sub was backing out of the docks on the russian north coast by the time it had moved 100 yards. This was in the height of the cold war. Our subs OTOH could move at classified speeds underwater so quietly that if their sonars didn't catch the ping, they never knew we were within miles, let alone the few yards away that we actually were. In one instance, we caught one of theirs off the Carolina coast, and he found he was 'made' so he went to the bottom to wait us out. But we had air recyclers they didn't. When he tried to blow the tanks and surface for air, he found our sub sitting on him. I don't think he heard it when the hulls made contact & we kept silent. Held him down for another bit of time just to make the point, then beat him to the surface. That sub captain probably went home to a firing squad because he allowed that to happen.

    Within a year or two of that machines exportation by Hitachi America, the russian subs suddenly started getting as quiet as ours. So our hydrophones became worthless as we couldn't hear them anymore. But by then, the cold war was winding down. And that was just one of the reasons we won that war.

    Hitachi? Got a slap on the wrist, where the actual act should have been treason charges & a trip to ACE Hardware for some new rope.

    That seemed to take the heart out of any reason to keep Phil Zimmerman jailed, so he was released after a while, I suspect with instructions to add a back door to PGP, which is the reason I personally have never used a newer than 2.6.2 release. And haven't used that in years as I no longer care what my government thinks of me since its so plain they think I'm just another of the sheeple. All they have to do is wait for me to fall over (74 and diabetic now) and they won't be out a dime.

    It all boils down to its not being who you know, its who you blow. Very abundantly proven by the facts. Sigh...

    --
    Cheers, Gene

"Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." -- Bernard Berenson

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