[eagle] Re: ITAR BS

Bill Ress bill at hsmicrowave.com
Tue Sep 9 14:49:26 PDT 2008

Bob, et al.

I have been looking into ITAR issues, as you know, and one of the things 
I found (through asking questions - but admittedly not the one who had 
the problem) was that the individual who it seems was actually "guilty" 
of violating ITAR (while consulting with a foreign satellite maker - not 
AMSAT related) started to spread fear throughout our ranks. Was this 
appropriate on his part? Was it sour grapes? Should he have known better?

Let's put this ITAR stuff on hold for bit. I have volunteered to off 
load from Rick his efforts to resolve ITAR. Rick has briefed me on the 
recent AMSAT activities, offered to assist my efforts, and has agreed on 
a plan which will start by getting a reading from State, using their 
"commodity jurisdiction determination" procedure on the IHU-3, which is 
the long pole in the tent right now. I'm certain that effort will flush 
out a lot of information from State and hopefully start some meaningful 
dialog. We won't know until we try.

Then I'll be preparing series of articles about ITAR and its 
implications or lack thereof, using all the resources I can gather to 
provide guidance, counsel and editing, for what could become the basis 
for our formal ITAR guideline.

But I can tell you this fact right now. ITAR _DOES NOT_ apply to an 
AMSAT satellite launched by a USA company. Additionally, ITAR DOES NOT 
apply to material, hardware or software, we receive from outside the USA 
for inclusion into our USA company launched satellite. The big key here 
is USA company launch. Hence the attractiveness of the Intelsat 
rideshare. ITAR doesn't apply.

So until AMSAT plans for a launch by a foreign government - forget ITAR. 
And if we must consider a foreign country launch in the future, I'm 
hoping we'll have a better understanding of our ITAR do's and don'ts.

Just remember - 4 years ago we launched AO-51 from Russia and I didn't 
see any of the AMSAT team get hauled off to jail. With all its publicity 
you'd have thought it would have caught the eye of someone at State if 
they really felt we were "bad guys." I actually take that as a tacit 
approval by them (by using the concept of precedents - viewing our over 
thirty year satellite building and launching history) that we're the 
"good guys" but they don't want to go to Congress to have us formally 
excluded from a their confusing ITAR document...............But then I'm 
a glass half full guy!!

So Matt, yes - I see ITAR as just _one_ reason, of which there are 
several, for our lack of progress and concerns by some key volunteers.

Regards...Bill - N6GHz

Bob McGwier wrote:
> I think this misses the point of these discussions.  Some of our most
> valuable, long term, productive volunteers, people who have been producing
> real results for a long time,  have been sitting on the sideline because of
> the fear of ITAR and its implications.  Shortly after our first major
> meeting where ACP was really introduced,  they almost completely pulled back
> from us.  They have a specific example they can point to, in a person we all
> know who was caught up in it, pursued by the authorities, and ate a real
> cost that pushed them to the edge financially. 
> It just isn't worth taking the risk to them and thus it is very costly to
> us.
> I don't think anyone blames ITAR for all that happened here since June.
> Bob
> ARRL SDR Working Group Chair
> Member: ARRL, AMSAT, AMSAT-DL, TAPR, Packrats,
> "Trample the slow ....  Hurdle the dead"
> -----Original Message-----
> From: eagle-bounces at amsat.org [mailto:eagle-bounces at amsat.org] On Behalf Of
> Matt Ettus
> Sent: Tuesday, September 09, 2008 3:59 PM
> To: 'EAGLE'
> Subject: [eagle] ITAR BS
> Saying that the reason there is no progress on Eagle is because of ITAR 
> is like saying that the reason my dog hasn't read "The Complete Works of 
> William Shakespeare" is because he can't reach it on the top bookshelf.
> The real reasons why there is no progress:
>     Nobody knows what "Eagle" is anymore
>     Everyone who was actually doing any work was summarily "fired".  
> Multiple times in some cases.
> Matt
> _______________________________________________
> Via the Eagle mailing list courtesy of AMSAT-NA
> Eagle at amsat.org
> http://amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/eagle
> _______________________________________________
> Via the Eagle mailing list courtesy of AMSAT-NA
> Eagle at amsat.org
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