[amsat-bb] Re: Satellites need to be open source
glasbrenner at mindspring.com
Sat Nov 14 05:46:23 PST 2009
> I'm guessing at the last general AMSAT-NA meeting the BOD put in the members assembly notes the copy of those letters from the ITAR
> afficionados? If not it will a great help for us and for all the US amateur radio operators to see where they can be wrong in their actions
> regarding ITAR.
> You are right when you wrote "you don't have to worry about U.S. laws" it's not of my concern but i'm asking only for a disclosure of the
> condemning letter coming from ITAR about presuming rules violation by AMSAT-NA.
> All the AMSAT financial report are already available on AMSAT-NA web site why not put copy of those letters on the web site? it will not
> hurt anyone but it will be a great help for all of those who wants to exchange stuff with US hams and probably numerous US hams who are
> probably in a huge void actually about what they can do or not.
Unfortunately, ITAR and the federal government doesn't work that way in
this case. When AMSAT filed a voluntary disclosure describing our
activities, including P3E, the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls
replied that we had indeed violated ITAR. The frustrating part is that
they did not identify what activities were violations and which were
not. It does not help the situation that AMSAT is not the normal
scenario that they deal with, and as is common with government, it is
easier for them to say no than to say yes. So, despite being given a
pass on our past activities we are still without firm guidance on how to
move forward without risking repeat violations, and the very real threat
of jail or fines. Personally, there is no AMSAT project conceivable to
me that would be worth even the slightest chance of being deprived of my
All of the interaction with the government regarding ITAR costs very
real money that we don't have much of now. At some point there is a
decision to be made whether to continue to expend resources on ITAR
issues, or to avoid them as much as possible and concentrate on domestic
Luc, if you want me to participate in further conversations about this
or other topics, keep this conversation sane. The minute it devolves to
the normal BOD-bashing I will QRT.
73, Drew KO4MA
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