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Terrorism Concerns Make Export Rules Tricky

As appeared in StarTribune

May 19, 2012

In 2007, a released Minnesota shipment of thousands of wireless networking components ended up in Iraq, being put into improvised explosive devices meant to kill US military men and women. Four people were recently arrested and US authorities are working to have the accused terrorist suppliers transferred to this country to face trial.

According to Kaye Scholer LLP’s Brandt Pasco, “There are practical limits to what government can do. Improvised explosive devices are just that – improvised. They are made out of what's available. You can't control everything without paralyzing society."

“It's a compliance-based system not unlike the income tax," added Pasco, a founding member of the National Security Council Task Force on Export Control Reform. "The company decides when they need to file."

“Robust human intelligence is the solution to what happened in the Minnesota case, not restrictive export controls,” Pasco concluded.

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