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In this question: Export restrictions on programming equipment Adam Davis noted that

Export restrictions is a problem an electrical engineer might have, but it's not an electrical engineering problem - one that can be solved with the correct application electronic design. Therefore it's off topic for this site. Further, export law is complicated enough, and this question broad enough, that even if it were on topic it couldn't be correctly and succinctly answered in a reasonably sized question. You could fill a book with the answer to "Regarding electronic devices and components, where is the line between needing an export license and not needing one?"

We've previously fielded questions about this issue:

The former was similar to the question in question in that it simply asked what the laws are. It got a few answers. It also got quite a few comments about the suitability of this sort of question. The latter two dealt with the implications of ITAR on circuit design, and might be classified differently.

In any case, this is an issue that needs to be dealt with. Should we allow questions like these?

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    \$\begingroup\$ The export restrictions on FPGAs question is an excellent example of this being the wrong forum. Each answer was a variation of, "I'm not an expert in this, go ask an expert." I've posted many answers to meta.stackoverflow regarding why sites must choose and maintain a laser sharp focus, so I'd be interested in knowing why this site should be run fundamentally differently from Stack Overflow in terms of topic exclusion. \$\endgroup\$ – Adam Davis Feb 24 '12 at 2:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ @AdamDavis - Because we don't have a Programmers.Stackexchange? Anyways, if that's your answer then please make it an answer so we can vote on it! Let's not make this into a mega comment thread. \$\endgroup\$ – Kevin Vermeer Feb 24 '12 at 4:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Aw, comment mega threads need love too! \$\endgroup\$ – Adam Davis Feb 24 '12 at 13:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ @AdamDavis - People always love mega comment threads. It gives everyone a chance to state a brief opinion, without risk of being dowvnoted. Unfortunately, they're not very good at actually resolving anything. \$\endgroup\$ – Kevin Vermeer Feb 25 '12 at 18:40
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I guess they'd be better suited to the Law SE site here once it's up and running. (BTW, the gyro question seems to me to be on-topic and not legal-related, although it could've been otherwise)

Questions related to ITAR can be pointed to Russell's answer which is useful in terms of guiding people to learn how much there is to learn!

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Hm, the gyro question seems to have only one mention of legal stuff, in talganglyguy's answer, which states Systems with this level of performance are typically ITAR controlled goods as they are weapons grade devices. Evidence that legal issues need to be considered by engineers, but I do think that you're correct that it's not a good example. I've removed it from the question. \$\endgroup\$ – Kevin Vermeer Feb 25 '12 at 18:39

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