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FBI Agent Speaks on Export Control

Supervisory Special Agent Michael Eisen, Counterintelligence Division of the FBI, will speak on export control issues at 2 p.m. Oct. 8 in the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC), room 1C125A, on the west end of the building. The forum is sponsored by TTUHSC and is open to Texas Tech faculty and staff.

Earlier this year, Walter Lian-Heen Liew and Robert Maegerle were found guilty of economic espionage for attempting to steal Oreo’s white filling secret ingredients. The Dupont Company manufactures the whitening ingredient, by using secret methods that maintain their multi-billion dollar yearly profits and global market monopoly. Dupont contacted the FBI after receiving a letter from a disgruntled former employee. Liew could be sentenced up to 20 years for economic espionage and witness tampering.

Generally, when any item (commodities, software or technology, technical information, blue prints, design plans, circuit boards, etc.) subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) is shipped or transmitted from the United States to a foreign destination, it is considered exported. Technology or source code may be released through visual inspection, oral exchanges of information, or the application to situations abroad of personal knowledge or technical experience acquired in the United States. In addition, technology, know how, and non-encryption source code that is released to a foreign national within the U.S. is “deemed” to be an export to the country where the person is a resident or citizen and could be subject to licensing requirements. This is what is commonly known as the “deemed export” rule.

Example: If a foreign national graduate student attending Texas Tech University with a valid visa receives information on or views controlled technology, the release of the technology to the student could be considered a “deemed export” to the student’s home country. Texas Tech may be required to obtain an export license before allowing the release of such information to a foreign national student or researcher. Because researchers travel and discuss science and technology with our counterparts in other countries and in the US, it is important to understand the law.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND: Anyone who is in a position to share or discuss items subject to EAR in the U.S. or foreign countries and does not wish to go to jail.