Obama Announces U.S. and Cuba Will Resume Relations - December 16, 2014 - "We will end an outdated approach that for decades has failed to advance our interests and instead we will begin to normalize relations between our two countries," Mr. Obama said in a nationally televised statement from the White House. The deal will "begin a new chapter among the nations of the Americas" and move beyond a "rigid policy that is rooted in events that took place before most of us were born."
Here is what the Economist said this week.
Office of Undersecretary for Finance and Administration Issues Notice About Export Compliance - September 17, 2014 - The Smithsonian Institution is committed to complying with all U.S. laws and regulations applicable to the Smithsonian's shipment, transmission or transfer of regulated items, information and software to foreign countries, persons or entities. A new Smithsonian Directive, SD 611, "Export Compliance and Trade Sanctions Related To Research, Export and Museum Activities," is forthcoming and a comprehensive export compliance program is being implemented to build awareness and understanding about export compliance and to ensure that all of the Smithsonian's international activities (including collaborations with, or the hiring of foreign persons and institutions, purchasing and shipping) are vetted for compliance with U.S. laws.
The full notice and drafts of SD 611 can be found on the Directive to Comply section of our web site.
Federal REAL ID Act Requirements Now In Effect - July 21, 2014 - Effective July 21, 2014, all US Government Agencies are required to adhere to the Federal REAL ID Act phase two requirements for access to Federal facilities. The Act will impact Visitors to NASA facilities using state-issued ID to access the Center. Only driver's licenses or identifications cards from states that meet REAL ID standards may be used for Visitor access. Current noncompliant states and territories whose driver's licenses do not meet the Real ID standards are: Alaska, America Samoa, Arizona, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New York, Oklahoma, and Washington State. Visitors with driver's licenses from these states will be required to present an alternate form of identification for unescorted access. For more information, see our REAL ID Act and NASA Facilities page.
NASA suspends contact with Russians: - (April 2, 2014) - A memo from the organization states, "Given Russia's ongoing violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, until further notice, the U.S. Government has determined that all NASA contacts with Russian Government representatives are suspended, unless the activity has been specifically excepted. This suspension includes NASA travel to Russia and visits by Russian Government representatives to NASA facilities, bilateral meetings, email, and teleconferences or videoconferences. At the present time, only operational International Space Station activities have been excepted."
All SAO travel requests to Russia must now go through the ECO, Natascha Finnerty, or in her absence the back-up ECO, Tom Bonnenfant.
EdX Blocks Course Content to Cuba, Iran, Sudan: - (March 3, 2014) - "Due to federal regulations, edX plans to block students in Cuba, Iran, and Sudan from taking an upcoming online course on aerodynamics and modern aircraft design, according to a blog post written by edX president Anant Agarwal on Monday." The Harvard Crimson
NASA IG Finds no Evidence of Intentional Export Control Violations at Ames: - (February 27, 2014) - "Officials at NASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif., did not intentionally violate export control laws but 'exercised poor judgment' in sharing export-controlled information with foreign nationals at the center, NASA's Office of Inspector General (OIG) concluded in a report summary published Feb. 26." Space News
Export Control Reform Rollout: Transitioning ITAR items to the Commerce Control List. Status and FAQ regularly updated at the Political Military Affairs, Directorate of Defence Trade Controls web page.
NASA Shuts Down Database During Security Inquiry: "NASA has shut down a large public database and is limiting access to agency facilities by foreign citizens as part of a broader investigation into efforts by China and other countries to get information about important technology." New York Times, March 23, 2013