Beemer (dr_tectonic) wrote,
Beemer
dr_tectonic

Country of Destination: Up Your Ass

I am returning some hard drives back to the person who sent them* to me, and because the destination is outside the U.S., I have to fill out export control paperwork.

*Well, the data on them is what was actually being sent. The hard drives themselves were kind of incidental.

This irritates me all out of proportion to the inconvenience it imposes.

I think the reason it annoys me so much is that, given that what I'm doing is returning a completely mundane piece of off-the-shelf computer hardware to its original owner, the paperwork seems just willfully stupid:

"What other technology/equipment will be used in conjunction with this item?"

I dunno, a computer, probably?

"Will the technology be shared, sent or re-exported to anywhere with anyone else?"

Well, given that it's a piece of commodity electronics... I dunno, maybe? Depends on whether the owner decides to send it to his brother who's at university in France, I suppose. I really have no idea. Also, your grammar sux.

"What is the Country of Origin of each piece?"

Well, I presume that it was purchased in the UK. But the manufacturer is American. Oh, and there's a sticker on the antistatic sleeve saying it was made in Thailand. Wait, does the fact that you've capitalized Country of Origin mean that this is a technical term with some special meaning? I DON'T KNOW!

"If exporting computer hardware, provide the following information:
APP (Adjusted Peak Performance): check one
___ ≤ 0.75 Weighted Teraflops
___ ≥ 0.75 Weighted Teraflops"


...

Seriously? Seriously? IT. IS. A. HARD DRIVE.

Fine. I guess "none whatsoever" is less than 0.75. (And now I wonder what you do if the APP is 0.75 exactly...)

ARGH!

It's just-- I mean, I get that is is reasonable to restrict the export of things that might have military applications, and that there needs to be an auditable paper trail in case somebody breaks the rules. But can't we just have a ticky-box on the first page that says "Yes, I have read the regulations, and really, honestly, it is totally obvious that all the questions on the following 3 pages are Not Applicable, so that's why they've all been left blank"?
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