I Picked the Wrong Decade to Give up Aerospace


Congress and the Commerce Dept.'s Bureau of Industry and Security are looking to tighten the rules governing foreign nationals' access to "deemed exports," which is government-ese for technological data deemed sensitive enough to National Security to require some export restriction. According to the information-should-be-freer Secrecy News,

Strict enforcement of controls on such information would require imposing severe, possibly unworkable limits on interactions with foreign scientists and with foreign students in the U.S.

"Depending on how you parse the requirements," one distinguished academic scientist said yesterday, "their impact would range from serious to disastrous."

If controls on access to laboratory equipment are enforced by surveillance and monitoring systems, another eminent scientist said, "then the notion of an open university disappears at that point."

More links, including the guvmint's side of the story, here. I can report that, at least according to my aerospace-engineer father, the post-Sept. 11 tightening of rules has made the Security Clearance process for furriners drag out into several years, putting a kibosh on the hiring of clever Indians, Russkies, Chinese, and the like. Which, when mixed with the a shortage of young talent (who prefer Internet stuff) and a spike in demand from the government, has created a rip-roaring labor market for aging aerospace types with good Clearances. A year or so ago, a freelancer ("job-shopper") friend of my dad's gushed, "It's like Reagan all over again!"