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Commerce Department Will Form Panel to Recommend Changes in Export-Control Law

May 15, 2006

The U.S. Commerce Department will announce this week that it plans to create a committee to study ways to control foreign students' and scholars' access to sensitive technologies, postponing for at least a year the release of a new rule on what are called "deemed exports." Notice of the new committee, which will be published in the Federal Register, comes a little over a year after the department announced, in an "advance notice of proposed rulemaking," that it was considering changes in regulations for carrying out deemed-export law that would restrict foreign students' and scholars' access to sensitive technology based on their countries of birth, rather than their countries of citizenship or permanent residency. A "deemed export" occurs when information about a technology is released to a foreign national. Under deemed-export law, colleges must obtain licenses for foreign nationals who will have access to sensitive technologies, laboratory instruments, or information necessary for the "development, production, or use of a product."