Author Topic: Dept Of Justice Investigating SpaceX For Not Hiring Non-US Citizens  (Read 47717 times)

Offline darkenfast

  • Member
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1531
  • Liked: 1824
  • Likes Given: 8654
CNBC story regarding an investigation into SpaceX's policy of not hiring non-US citizens. I have a sneaking suspicion that the person complaining knew full well about the policy before they applied. SpaceX is resisting handing over personal employee details including copies of passports, driver's licenses and social security cards. Not quite sure were this case is going to go.

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/28/doj-investigating-spacex-after-hiring-discrimination-complaint-.html   
Writer of Book and Lyrics for musicals "SCAR", "Cinderella!", and "Aladdin!". Retired Naval Security Group. "I think SCAR is a winner. Great score, [and] the writing is up there with the very best!"
-- Phil Henderson, Composer of the West End musical "The Far Pavilions".

Offline EspenU

  • Newbie Spacegeek
  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 253
  • Norway
  • Liked: 254
  • Likes Given: 34
Hasn't Musk stated several times that they don't hire non-U.S citizens at SpaceX due to the problems it causes with ITAR?

Offline Star One

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13942
  • UK
  • Liked: 3950
  • Likes Given: 220
Hasn't Musk stated several times that they don't hire non-U.S citizens at SpaceX due to the problems it causes with ITAR?
I hadnít heard that. Got any links as it sounds plausible.

Offline EspenU

  • Newbie Spacegeek
  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 253
  • Norway
  • Liked: 254
  • Likes Given: 34
Hasn't Musk stated several times that they don't hire non-U.S citizens at SpaceX due to the problems it causes with ITAR?
I hadnít heard that. Got any links as it sounds plausible.
Not at a PC at the moment so don't have links. But I think there was a presentation where someone asked if he would hire non-U.S, and he had the ITAR reply.
It might have been the infamous Q&A session of the Guadalajara presentation.

I've seen it mentioned other times as well, but don't recall where.


Offline soltasto

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 636
  • Italy, Earth
  • Liked: 1118
  • Likes Given: 40

Offline Star One

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13942
  • UK
  • Liked: 3950
  • Likes Given: 220
Note that ULA does the exact same:

https://twitter.com/torybruno/status/1354454807239647232
How easy would that be for the British person mentioned in that Tweet?

Offline rubicondsrv

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 236
  • Liked: 225
  • Likes Given: 0
Hasn't Musk stated several times that they don't hire non-U.S citizens at SpaceX due to the problems it causes with ITAR?
I hadnít heard that. Got any links as it sounds plausible.
this is a common policy with companies dealing with ITAR. 

only US citizens or permanent residents can have access to ITAR information without it being considered an export and needing a permit. 

that does not mean there is not something to this specific complaint, but simply excluding non citizens/permanent residents from the entire business is a common way to ensure ITAR information is not inadvertently "exported" without a permit.


The complaint appears to be that they require any employee to be a US Citizen. That is different than the US Person requirement referred to by Tory. The later merely means that a person has a permanent residence in the US. In that case, you need to be careful that the company can show they turned up some suspicious activity or problems that could leave them vulnerable to be made a spy.

Offline Frogstar_Robot

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 498
  • Liked: 723
  • Likes Given: 138
How easy would that be for the British person mentioned in that Tweet?

How on Earth would anyone know that apart from the individual concerned??

It sounds like you are asking us to dox someone. A definite no no.
Rule 1: Be civil. Respect other members.
Rule 3: No "King of the Internet" attitudes.

Offline Frogstar_Robot

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 498
  • Liked: 723
  • Likes Given: 138
Note that ULA does the exact same:


Yes, so this seems like a weird complaint. A "Technology Strategy Associate" would inevitably come into contact with ITAR data.

People in non-technical positions could be hired without ITAR clearance, provided there were mechanisms to prevent contact with ITAR data (e.g by restricting access to certain offices).

Rule 1: Be civil. Respect other members.
Rule 3: No "King of the Internet" attitudes.

Offline goatgobahh

  • Member
  • Posts: 22
  • Irvine CA
  • Liked: 40
  • Likes Given: 197
Hasn't Musk stated several times that they don't hire non-U.S citizens at SpaceX due to the problems it causes with ITAR?
I hadnít heard that. Got any links as it sounds plausible.
this is a common policy with companies dealing with ITAR. 

only US citizens or permanent residents can have access to ITAR information without it being considered an export and needing a permit. 

that does not mean there is not something to this specific complaint, but simply excluding non citizens/permanent residents from the entire business is a common way to ensure ITAR information is not inadvertently "exported" without a permit.

I believe there are some relatively recent restrictions added (since the theft of several aerospace IP directly by employees) to include anyone who was a Chinese national, even with permanent residence. Same bill as ITAR ban on ISS.
« Last Edit: 01/29/2021 12:04 pm by goatgobahh »

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39247
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 25174
  • Likes Given: 12102
Yeah, itís now harder to do this stuff even if youíre a permanent resident.

SpaceX would be delighted if they could hire non-citizens and non-permanent-residents. But itís not really allowed.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline steveleach

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2135
  • Liked: 2724
  • Likes Given: 951
Looks like a simple question of whether the DOJ requested personal information (of employees not directly involved) that was not absolutely necessary.

I would hope that as a responsible employer, SpaceX takes appropriate steps to safeguard the personal information of its employees, even against government agencies.

This is likely a completely normal "company lawyers arguing with government layers over interpretation of law" situation. It will work itself out through the courts, or through negotiation.

The article doesn't mention whether the candidate was even entitled to work in the US; I presume they are, otherwise this would be a total non-issue.

IMHO, the only reason this is in the news is that putting "SpaceX", "Musk" or "Telsa" in your headlines sells advertising.

Offline rubicondsrv

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 236
  • Liked: 225
  • Likes Given: 0
Yeah, itís now harder to do this stuff even if youíre a permanent resident.

SpaceX would be delighted if they could hire non-citizens and non-permanent-residents. But itís not really allowed.

that would make sense, I would expect keeping up with the ever changing rules on restricted nationalities would make hiring non citizens rather impractical even if technically legal. 

Offline rubicondsrv

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 236
  • Liked: 225
  • Likes Given: 0

This is likely a completely normal "company lawyers arguing with government layers over interpretation of law" situation. It will work itself out through the courts, or through negotiation.

The article doesn't mention whether the candidate was even entitled to work in the US; I presume they are, otherwise this would be a total non-issue.



arguably it is a non issue regardless, as employment law disputes are frequently litigated and in many cases the laws in question are so poorly written and defined that until the litigation occurs there is no real certainty of what is and is not acceptable. 

every larger company has these disputes from time to time

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39247
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 25174
  • Likes Given: 12102
Thereís technically question about whether ITAR is even Constitutional. And yeah, itís overly broad and I donít blame SpaceX for being careful about this.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline rubicondsrv

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 236
  • Liked: 225
  • Likes Given: 0
Thereís technically question about whether ITAR is even Constitutional. And yeah, itís overly broad and I donít blame SpaceX for being careful about this.

I run an ITAR shop, I wouldn't hire a non citizen without extensive discussions with lawyers first.   

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39247
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 25174
  • Likes Given: 12102
Thereís technically question about whether ITAR is even Constitutional. And yeah, itís overly broad and I donít blame SpaceX for being careful about this.

I run an ITAR shop, I wouldn't hire a non citizen without extensive discussions with lawyers first.
Yup. I only hire interns (in an ITAR relevant context), but same deal. Stuff is considered unreleasable to the public without first getting approval by the lawyers. Imagine trying to get approval from lawyers for every thing you shared with someone you hired.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline Star One

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13942
  • UK
  • Liked: 3950
  • Likes Given: 220
How easy would that be for the British person mentioned in that Tweet?

How on Earth would anyone know that apart from the individual concerned??

It sounds like you are asking us to dox someone. A definite no no.
Huh it was a genuine question. Stop looking for malicious intent when there isn’t one.

Offline Star One

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13942
  • UK
  • Liked: 3950
  • Likes Given: 220
There’s technically question about whether ITAR is even Constitutional. And yeah, it’s overly broad and I don’t blame SpaceX for being careful about this.

I run an ITAR shop, I wouldn't hire a non citizen without extensive discussions with lawyers first.
Yup. I only hire interns (in an ITAR relevant context), but same deal. Stuff is considered unreleasable to the public without first getting approval by the lawyers. Imagine trying to get approval from lawyers for every thing you shared with someone you hired.
It seems a bit bonkers to have a law where a potential employer feels they have to consult lawyers before deciding to hire someone. Really that should be the employers choice not a team of lawyers.

Offline Khadgars

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1748
  • Orange County, California
  • Liked: 1131
  • Likes Given: 3149
Thereís technically question about whether ITAR is even Constitutional. And yeah, itís overly broad and I donít blame SpaceX for being careful about this.

I run an ITAR shop, I wouldn't hire a non citizen without extensive discussions with lawyers first.
Yup. I only hire interns (in an ITAR relevant context), but same deal. Stuff is considered unreleasable to the public without first getting approval by the lawyers. Imagine trying to get approval from lawyers for every thing you shared with someone you hired.
It seems a bit bonkers to have a law where a potential employer feels they have to consult lawyers before deciding to hire someone. Really that should be the employers choice not a team of lawyers.

Not when it comes to National security, which ITAR covers.
Evil triumphs when good men do nothing - Thomas Jefferson

Offline Sam Ho

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 813
  • Liked: 571
  • Likes Given: 71
The complaint appears to be that they require any employee to be a US Citizen. That is different than the US Person requirement referred to by Tory. The later merely means that a person has a permanent residence in the US. In that case, you need to be careful that the company can show they turned up some suspicious activity or problems that could leave them vulnerable to be made a spy.
The headline does not reflect the text of the complaint.  The policy is US Person.
Quote
The charge alleges that on or about March 10, 2020, during the Charging Partyís interview for the position of Technology Strategy Associate, SpaceX made inquiries about his citizenship status and ultimately failed to hire him for the position because he is not a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.

Offline Frogstar_Robot

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 498
  • Liked: 723
  • Likes Given: 138
How easy would that be for the British person mentioned in that Tweet?

How on Earth would anyone know that apart from the individual concerned??

It sounds like you are asking us to dox someone. A definite no no.
Huh it was a genuine question. Stop looking for malicious intent when there isnít one.

"Never ascribe to malice what can be explained by incompetence".
Rule 1: Be civil. Respect other members.
Rule 3: No "King of the Internet" attitudes.

Offline Jansen

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1997
  • Liked: 2235
  • Likes Given: 373
Quote
The DOJís Immigrant and Employee Rights Section said it received a complaint of employment discrimination from a non-U.S. citizen in May and said SpaceX refused to comply with a subpoena for relevant documents related to hiring.

Just wanted to point out that the complaint and investigation go all the way back to May last year. Itís only making headlines now due to the information being subpoenaed.
« Last Edit: 01/29/2021 04:19 pm by Jansen »

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39247
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 25174
  • Likes Given: 12102
Thereís technically question about whether ITAR is even Constitutional. And yeah, itís overly broad and I donít blame SpaceX for being careful about this.

I run an ITAR shop, I wouldn't hire a non citizen without extensive discussions with lawyers first.
Yup. I only hire interns (in an ITAR relevant context), but same deal. Stuff is considered unreleasable to the public without first getting approval by the lawyers. Imagine trying to get approval from lawyers for every thing you shared with someone you hired.
It seems a bit bonkers to have a law where a potential employer feels they have to consult lawyers before deciding to hire someone. Really that should be the employers choice not a team of lawyers.
Thatís ITAR.

Heck, thatís immigration law generally. It can be pretty tough to hire someone whoís not at least a permanent resident even *without* ITAR.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline SWGlassPit

  • I break space hardware
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 845
  • Liked: 893
  • Likes Given: 142
Like the other folks here, I'm having trouble identifying where SpaceX is in the wrong here. 

Offline DigitalMan

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1667
  • Liked: 1168
  • Likes Given: 76
Rather than handing over any employee information, if besides ITAR, SpaceX is bound by DOD/NASA contract requirements, why not refer DOJ to DOD/NASA general counsel?

Offline ncb1397

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3497
  • Liked: 2310
  • Likes Given: 29
Thereís technically question about whether ITAR is even Constitutional. And yeah, itís overly broad and I donít blame SpaceX for being careful about this.

So, like talking missiles with your North Korean pen pal is freedom of speech?

Offline steveleach

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2135
  • Liked: 2724
  • Likes Given: 951
Like the other folks here, I'm having trouble identifying where SpaceX is in the wrong here.
If the DOJ has a legitimate need for the information they requested in order to investigate a potential violation of employment law then SpaceX is in the wrong. If there was no legitimate need then they weren't.

The courts will decide which it is, presumably.

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39247
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 25174
  • Likes Given: 12102
There’s technically question about whether ITAR is even Constitutional. And yeah, it’s overly broad and I don’t blame SpaceX for being careful about this.

So, like talking missiles with your North Korean pen pal is freedom of speech?
Frakking everything can be covered under ITAR. A non-private gun show which shows how all the guns work, unless it’s asking for citizenship papers at the door (yay, freedum), is potentially in violation unless all material inside has been cleared by lawyers. And that’s obvious because that’s actual arms. But algorithms, materials, manufacturing processes, etc... can be covered.

A YouTube video by a hobbyist showing how he made his rocket gimbal (hi, Joe Barnard) could potentially be considered in violation. All those detailed gun enthusiast videos. All kinds of stuff.
« Last Edit: 01/30/2021 01:17 am by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline punder

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1235
  • Liked: 1822
  • Likes Given: 1426
Thereís technically question about whether ITAR is even Constitutional. And yeah, itís overly broad and I donít blame SpaceX for being careful about this.

So, like talking missiles with your North Korean pen pal is freedom of speech?
Wow, that was  quite a leap you took there. Reminds me of some of your other rebuttals.

Just curious, how did you get from a general opinion that ITAR isnít perfect, to handing industrial secrets to North Korea?

Offline M.E.T.

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2293
  • Liked: 2892
  • Likes Given: 504
Well, the pile on against SpaceX seems at a frenzy at the moment. Either that or the media is trying to hype it up from all angles as usual.

Anyway, bring it on. SpaceX will deal with all these petty obstacles and roll on - at mind boggling pace, as always. The future will not wait for anyone.

Offline Vanspace

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 291
  • Canada
  • Liked: 377
  • Likes Given: 318
Like the other folks here, I'm having trouble identifying where SpaceX is in the wrong here.
If the DOJ has a legitimate need for the information they requested in order to investigate a potential violation of employment law then SpaceX is in the wrong. If there was no legitimate need then they weren't.

The courts will decide which it is, presumably.

Maybe conflicting authorities.

If the DOJ has a legitimate legal need for the information they requested in order to investigate a potential violation of employment law

and

If the DoD has a legitimate legal need to restrict information about arms technology secrets and who has it.

Then

SpaceX tells the DoJ to subpoena and let a judge decide who wins. In such a case, it is the only path forward.


I strongly suspect this to be the case. In the years since EEOC laws and ITAR laws were enacted, I can't think of ANY company that has hired so many people in such a short span exclusively under ITAR. When it was a few hundred ITAR people into a company the size of Boeing, I can understand the DoJ accepting the US Person wording while ignoring the Citizen Only reality . But if all the employees are hired under ITAR then it effectively prevents the DoJ from ever investigating employment violations. On the other hand if the DoJ wins then DoD would never be able to keep projects secret or restricted to citizens only.

I can't see the Department of Justice allowing a highly visible company employing thousands of people to be immune to employment law. I also can't see the Department of Defence allowing the wholesale ID of employees with secret information. The only other solution would be for the DoD to acknowledge that ITAR does not apply to what SpaceX is doing.
"p can not equal zero" is the only scientific Truth. I could be wrong (p<0.05)

Offline dondar

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 433
  • the Netherlands
  • Liked: 297
  • Likes Given: 256
Like the other folks here, I'm having trouble identifying where SpaceX is in the wrong here.
nothing.
The case was a pretext to go full "SEC" on SpaceX and to bombard with information requests in order to investigate "general practices". It is as bollocks as it gets.

Offline dondar

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 433
  • the Netherlands
  • Liked: 297
  • Likes Given: 256
Like the other folks here, I'm having trouble identifying where SpaceX is in the wrong here.
If the DOJ has a legitimate need for the information they requested in order to investigate a potential violation of employment law then SpaceX is in the wrong. If there was no legitimate need then they weren't.

The courts will decide which it is, presumably.

Maybe conflicting authorities.

If the DOJ has a legitimate legal need for the information they requested in order to investigate a potential violation of employment law

and

If the DoD has a legitimate legal need to restrict information about arms technology secrets and who has it.

Then

SpaceX tells the DoJ to subpoena and let a judge decide who wins. In such a case, it is the only path forward.


I strongly suspect this to be the case. In the years since EEOC laws and ITAR laws were enacted, I can't think of ANY company that has hired so many people in such a short span exclusively under ITAR. When it was a few hundred ITAR people into a company the size of Boeing, I can understand the DoJ accepting the US Person wording while ignoring the Citizen Only reality . But if all the employees are hired under ITAR then it effectively prevents the DoJ from ever investigating employment violations. On the other hand if the DoJ wins then DoD would never be able to keep projects secret or restricted to citizens only.

I can't see the Department of Justice allowing a highly visible company employing thousands of people to be immune to employment law. I also can't see the Department of Defence allowing the wholesale ID of employees with secret information. The only other solution would be for the DoD to acknowledge that ITAR does not apply to what SpaceX is doing.
dude, reguesting "general" information implies reasonable suspicions about "general" wrongdoing.
Is there?

Requesting information which has limited time validity or is forbidden to keep (copies of specific personal ID  documents) is typical trolling which has to be handled accordingly.
National security regulations in all "norminal" countries have beside other things strong wording about protection of the specialists' identity. (that's beside general rules).
 I hope SpaceX will push back hard.
At least your country has a company which is not afraid not to line up with "accepted realities".

 Regrettably we will hear nothing about because the final news with SpaceX winning will generate as much news as very similar news about Tesla had. That is none.

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39247
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 25174
  • Likes Given: 12102
It’s a fishing expedition. The case is without merit because of SpaceX’s very real & obvious national security constraints. The only thing they could hope to find is that SpaceX has made occasional exceptions for extremely rare talent (like for instance some world-class metallurgy expert that they work with to get permanent status or assign lawyers specifically to handle the ITARness with that one employee), and then try to get SpaceX to play defense making the legal case for that exception. Again, fishing expedition.
« Last Edit: 01/31/2021 03:36 pm by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline Vanspace

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 291
  • Canada
  • Liked: 377
  • Likes Given: 318
Like the other folks here, I'm having trouble identifying where SpaceX is in the wrong here.
If the DOJ has a legitimate need for the information they requested in order to investigate a potential violation of employment law then SpaceX is in the wrong. If there was no legitimate need then they weren't.

The courts will decide which it is, presumably.

Maybe conflicting authorities.

If the DOJ has a legitimate legal need for the information they requested in order to investigate a potential violation of employment law

and

If the DoD has a legitimate legal need to restrict information about arms technology secrets and who has it.

Then

SpaceX tells the DoJ to subpoena and let a judge decide who wins. In such a case, it is the only path forward.


I strongly suspect this to be the case. In the years since EEOC laws and ITAR laws were enacted, I can't think of ANY company that has hired so many people in such a short span exclusively under ITAR. When it was a few hundred ITAR people into a company the size of Boeing, I can understand the DoJ accepting the US Person wording while ignoring the Citizen Only reality . But if all the employees are hired under ITAR then it effectively prevents the DoJ from ever investigating employment violations. On the other hand if the DoJ wins then DoD would never be able to keep projects secret or restricted to citizens only.

I can't see the Department of Justice allowing a highly visible company employing thousands of people to be immune to employment law. I also can't see the Department of Defence allowing the wholesale ID of employees with secret information. The only other solution would be for the DoD to acknowledge that ITAR does not apply to what SpaceX is doing.
dude, reguesting "general" information implies reasonable suspicions about "general" wrongdoing.
Is there?

Requesting information which has limited time validity or is forbidden to keep (copies of specific personal ID  documents) is typical trolling which has to be handled accordingly.
National security regulations in all "norminal" countries have beside other things strong wording about protection of the specialists' identity. (that's beside general rules).
 I hope SpaceX will push back hard.
At least your country has a company which is not afraid not to line up with "accepted realities".

 Regrettably we will hear nothing about because the final news with SpaceX winning will generate as much news as very similar news about Tesla had. That is none.

I think you missed the point.

ITAR makes it the law to only hire citizens.
EEOC makes it the law to NOT only hire citizens.
ITAR makes employee ID a secret
EEOC requires the release of employee IDs
SpaceX must follow both.
So it goes to the judge. No suspicions, no wrong doing needed.

The case itself is probably irrelevant, the issue becomes how to actually follow the laws.

Is the document request a "fishing expedition"? Not really, its just the initial investigatory request, like the cops asking for all the video of an "alleged" crime. Even if everyone involved knows its bull, if you refuse to hand over the video for any reason you will be subpoenaed.
"p can not equal zero" is the only scientific Truth. I could be wrong (p<0.05)

Offline Jorge

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6404
  • Liked: 529
  • Likes Given: 66
ITAR makes it the law to only hire citizens.

No. ITAR makes it the law to only disclose ITAR-controlled information to "US Persons".

See:
https://exportcompliancesolutions.com/blog/2018/09/20/u-s-persons-include-just-citizens/

US Persons include more than just citizens. In the above example, Clifford Chance US LLP was fined $132,000 and faced other penalties for excluding non-citizens from ITAR-controlled positions.

Companies (including SpaceX) hiring for ITAR-controlled projects advertise the US Person restriction prominently on their job postings.
https://boards.greenhouse.io/spacex/jobs/5058962002?gh_jid=5058962002
Quote from: SpaceX
ITAR REQUIREMENTS:

To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) you must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident of the U.S., protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State. Learn more about the ITAR here.
JRF

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39247
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 25174
  • Likes Given: 12102
ITAR makes it the law to only hire citizens.

No. ITAR makes it the law to only disclose ITAR-controlled information to "US Persons".

See:
https://exportcompliancesolutions.com/blog/2018/09/20/u-s-persons-include-just-citizens/

US Persons include more than just citizens. In the above example, Clifford Chance US LLP was fined $132,000 and faced other penalties for excluding non-citizens from ITAR-controlled positions.

Companies (including SpaceX) hiring for ITAR-controlled projects advertise the US Person restriction prominently on their job postings.
https://boards.greenhouse.io/spacex/jobs/5058962002?gh_jid=5058962002
Quote from: SpaceX
ITAR REQUIREMENTS:

To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) you must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident of the U.S., protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State. Learn more about the ITAR here.
In this case, the person was denied employment because they werenít a US person, not just that they werenít a US citizen. So the original post still works as long as you substitute permanent resident instead of citizen
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline Jorge

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6404
  • Liked: 529
  • Likes Given: 66
ITAR makes it the law to only hire citizens.

No. ITAR makes it the law to only disclose ITAR-controlled information to "US Persons".

See:
https://exportcompliancesolutions.com/blog/2018/09/20/u-s-persons-include-just-citizens/

US Persons include more than just citizens. In the above example, Clifford Chance US LLP was fined $132,000 and faced other penalties for excluding non-citizens from ITAR-controlled positions.

Companies (including SpaceX) hiring for ITAR-controlled projects advertise the US Person restriction prominently on their job postings.
https://boards.greenhouse.io/spacex/jobs/5058962002?gh_jid=5058962002
Quote from: SpaceX
ITAR REQUIREMENTS:

To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) you must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident of the U.S., protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State. Learn more about the ITAR here.
In this case, the person was denied employment because they werenít a US person, not just that they werenít a US citizen. So the original post still works as long as you substitute permanent resident instead of citizen

My mistake, then. Unfortunate that the subject line is wrong. This sounds like a fairly straightforward case, then.
JRF

Online scientist

  • Member
  • Posts: 13
  • Europe
  • Liked: 7
  • Likes Given: 43
ITAR makes it the law to only hire citizens.

No. ITAR makes it the law to only disclose ITAR-controlled information to "US Persons".

See:
https://exportcompliancesolutions.com/blog/2018/09/20/u-s-persons-include-just-citizens/

US Persons include more than just citizens. In the above example, Clifford Chance US LLP was fined $132,000 and faced other penalties for excluding non-citizens from ITAR-controlled positions.

Companies (including SpaceX) hiring for ITAR-controlled projects advertise the US Person restriction prominently on their job postings.
https://boards.greenhouse.io/spacex/jobs/5058962002?gh_jid=5058962002
Quote from: SpaceX
ITAR REQUIREMENTS:

To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) you must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident of the U.S., protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State. Learn more about the ITAR here.
In this case, the person was denied employment because they werenít a US person, not just that they werenít a US citizen. So the original post still works as long as you substitute permanent resident instead of citizen

Hi. Sorry but that is still not true. The wording includes this part: "or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State". Therefore being eligible to become a permanent resident should suffice for hiring. In reality they simply do not accept non-US persons at all (as I experienced myself).

Offline RedLineTrain

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2408
  • Liked: 2372
  • Likes Given: 10133
Honestly, I don't know why the DOJ would push this. What is the point, if any, they are trying to make? Don't they have anything better to do than to run up SpaceX's legal bills?

But in any event, if the DOJ continues to pursue it, this broad subpoena probably will go before a judge and it will be narrowed to something with which SpaceX can reasonably comply.
« Last Edit: 01/31/2021 06:36 pm by RedLineTrain »

Offline racevedo88

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 207
  • us
  • Liked: 347
  • Likes Given: 241
Have you guys ever considered , that as a National Security Launches provider , they might have security clearances requirements that require US citizenship? Certain level of clearances require a person to be a us citizen. This is independent of itars.

Offline Vanspace

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 291
  • Canada
  • Liked: 377
  • Likes Given: 318
ITAR makes it the law to only hire citizens.

No. ITAR makes it the law to only disclose ITAR-controlled information to "US Persons".

See:
https://exportcompliancesolutions.com/blog/2018/09/20/u-s-persons-include-just-citizens/

US Persons include more than just citizens. In the above example, Clifford Chance US LLP was fined $132,000 and faced other penalties for excluding non-citizens from ITAR-controlled positions.

Companies (including SpaceX) hiring for ITAR-controlled projects advertise the US Person restriction prominently on their job postings.
https://boards.greenhouse.io/spacex/jobs/5058962002?gh_jid=5058962002
Quote from: SpaceX
ITAR REQUIREMENTS:

To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) you must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident of the U.S., protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State. Learn more about the ITAR here.

The wording was chosen to reflect actual industry practice. Active ITAR administrators in this thread have noted that the "US Person" in actual practice has always meant US Citizens Only. Courts tend to cut though "magic code words" that somehow make the law not apply( see Literacy Tests, Separate but Equal, Sovereign Citizens, Unfinished Lower Receivers etc). In this case "US Person" seems to function as magic words that serves to make it appear EEOC laws are being followed while they are being violated.

Literacy Tests for Voting is probably the most directly on point example. In theory, the laws provided a way for minorities to pass and vote, in practice it did not. In theory ITAR allows a non-citizen to be hired, in practice it does not. This is likely the central issue of the original employment investigation, given the facts so far. Particularly with the unicorn like rarity of the complainant who is 1)Qualified as a Space Technology Strategist, 2)Not a citizen or permanent resident, 3)Legally permitted to work in the US and 4)Knowledgeable enough about US employment law and secure enough to not care about blacklisting for filing the complaint. That such a person even exists is remarkable.






"p can not equal zero" is the only scientific Truth. I could be wrong (p<0.05)

Offline Vanspace

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 291
  • Canada
  • Liked: 377
  • Likes Given: 318
Honestly, I don't know why the DOJ would push this. What is the point, if any, they are trying to make? Don't they have anything better to do than to run up SpaceX's legal bills?

But in any event, if the DOJ continues to pursue it, this broad subpoena probably will go before a judge and it will be narrowed to something with which SpaceX can reasonably comply.

The DoJ HATES anybody being beyond the reach of the law. If ITAR is higher than employment law then simply hiring everybody under ITAR makes the company completely immune most employment law.  If you can't even ask who the employees are it is impossible to prove discrimination. The DoD HATES having secret information getting out. If employment law is higher than ITAR then any secret project can get uncovered. That is the why.

Conflicts between military secrecy and employment law are not new. Famously, the DoD won a workplace injury lawsuit by claiming Area 51 does not exist. With that in mind, how this ends up is pretty far from certain.

"p can not equal zero" is the only scientific Truth. I could be wrong (p<0.05)

Offline Davidthefat

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 464
  • Rockets are life.
  • Greater Los Angeles Area, California
  • Liked: 288
  • Likes Given: 71
US Persons also include persons with permanent residency in the US (Aka Green Card). I think the suit is mentioning that they may have been discriminating against fully US Person status people that weren't citizens (the green card holders). Not non us person status people as that's strictly restricted by ITAR.

TBH, one of the first things I did turning 18 was to apply for a US citizenship even though I was a "US Person" with a Green Card. Worked at several ITAR restricted workplaces in the Aerospace industry with no issues with a US Passport, but I am not sure how much more difficult it is with only a green card (I presume in theory, not any more difficult, but I think the lawsuit may be insinuating it me be).

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39247
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 25174
  • Likes Given: 12102
US Persons also include persons with permanent residency in the US (Aka Green Card). I think the suit is mentioning that they may have been discriminating against fully US Person status people that weren't citizens (the green card holders). Not non us person status people as that's strictly restricted by ITAR.
...
No, the person in the suit doesnít have a Green Card, either. The headline was misleading.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39247
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 25174
  • Likes Given: 12102
I (and almost certainly SpaceX) would be more than happy if ITAR gets squashed a bit by this lawsuit. Itís the government who should be being challenged here (for contradictory laws, one of whichóITARómight be unconstitutional), not SpaceX for trying to follow the strict rules around export control and immigration law.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline Lars-J

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6807
  • California
  • Liked: 8462
  • Likes Given: 5371
...for contradictory laws, one of whichóITARómight be unconstitutional...

Posting the same thing over and over does not make it true. Stop beating that silly drum.

Offline GalacticIntruder

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 512
  • Pet Peeve:I hate the word Downcomer. Ban it.
  • Huntsville, AL
  • Liked: 247
  • Likes Given: 70
DOJ makes it clear to me that ITAR and EAR cannot stop employment if qualified. It does say employer needs State and DoD reviews and employee may be barred from projects without it.  Therefore I interpret this is a you must hire the person if qualified but they may not be allowed on a project unless State and DoD agrees.  In Practice, no employer would hire legal status questionable persons since it is a pain, hence this lawsuit.
"And now the Sun will fade, All we are is all we made." Breaking Benjamin

Offline matthewkantar

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2044
  • Liked: 2490
  • Likes Given: 2178
...for contradictory laws, one of whichóITARómight be unconstitutional...

Posting the same thing over and over does not make it true. Stop beating that silly drum.

I doesnít make it not true either. The feds backed down and settled iDefense Distributed v. United States Department of State, rather than letting the courts work it out. I am no legal scholar, but the constitutionality of ITAR seems at least a little sketchy.

Offline Frogstar_Robot

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 498
  • Liked: 723
  • Likes Given: 138
I know a defense company that hires people for 'secret' work. It takes 6 months to get new employees vetted by the government, so they sit around for 6 months doing basically nothing. If the clearance comes through, they can be put on a contract project. But if the clearance is refused, they are terminated and escorted off the premises the same day.

Obviously, it is a considerable expense for the company to have people doing nothing, and the refusal rate is significant, but the company factors that in to the cost of any contracts.

Rule 1: Be civil. Respect other members.
Rule 3: No "King of the Internet" attitudes.

Offline Vanspace

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 291
  • Canada
  • Liked: 377
  • Likes Given: 318
I (and almost certainly SpaceX) would be more than happy if ITAR gets squashed a bit by this lawsuit. Itís the government who should be being challenged here (for contradictory laws, one of whichóITARómight be unconstitutional), not SpaceX for trying to follow the strict rules around export control and immigration law.

What if SpaceX set this up to loosen/break some of the ITAR restrictions?

1) It is well known Musk wants the ITAR hiring restrictions lifted.
2) Long term, If ITAR stays, the only people that can go to Mars are US Citizens. Not compatible with the Interplanetary Humanity goal.
3) Long term ITAR will have to recognize Commercial vs Military Rockets just as it recognizes the same distinction in ships, planes, cars, computers etc. Cryogenic Boosters are not a military tech and every "enemy" (China, Russia, Iran, NK) already makes them. When the US is buying boosters from Russia, classifying them as weapons makes no sense.

The judge has only 4 realistic options in his ruling

1) ITAR wins making SpaceX immune to oversight. Not gonna happen
2) DoJ wins IDing secret project employees. Not gonna happen
3) Some mishmash procedure to maintain secrecy is devised.  Most likely to happen but figuring out how to satisfy both the DoJ and DoD at the same time is gonna need King Solomon levels of legal genius. Given the difficulty reconciling the two laws and the absolutist nature of the principles behind them (Military Secrecy vs Equality under the law), any ruling trying to balance them is highly likely to become a major precedence.
4) Moot the problem by declaring that what SpaceX is doing is not covered by ITAR. The clean room for National Security launches needs secrecy but not much else. This is going to be a very attractive option and carve outs of ITAR have happened before with encryption and computer processors.

None of these outcomes are bad for SpaceX and it makes a lot of strategic sense to take the shot. Which brings us back to the unicorn complainant. Such an incredibly rare set of traits making a perfect test case does not just happen randomly.

Wild Conjecture Ahead:
SpaceX specifically recruited the candidate for the purpose of setting up this legal battle. Send him to the DoJ to "force" SpaceX to hire. Given the "perfect" fit for the complaint and the potential benefits, SpaceX has a lot of good reasons to actively encourage this legal battle.

"p can not equal zero" is the only scientific Truth. I could be wrong (p<0.05)

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39247
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 25174
  • Likes Given: 12102
You are wrong about ITAR being easy to cut out. The rockets themselves are all ITARed up the ying yang. Virtually everything SpaceX does it ITAR/EAR (maybe not user terminals for Starlink? But even there...)

Iím telling you, I work in a materials science part of an aeronautics place (non-military), and literally everything we publish has to go through legal review to ensure nothing in there is export control. Itís an insane process that takes forever, but rockets are even more highly controlled than civilian aeronautics. SpaceX had a really hard time even getting some foreign nationals who were customers of theirs on site to see one of their launches. Having an actual employee that would basically need to be 24/7 chaperoned is just not gonna happen. This is not realistic unless ITAR/EA is massively reformed.
« Last Edit: 02/01/2021 08:07 pm by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline woods170

  • IRAS fan
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12080
  • IRAS fan
  • The Netherlands
  • Liked: 18036
  • Likes Given: 12036
ITAR makes it the law to only hire citizens.

No. ITAR makes it the law to only disclose ITAR-controlled information to "US Persons".

See:
https://exportcompliancesolutions.com/blog/2018/09/20/u-s-persons-include-just-citizens/

US Persons include more than just citizens. In the above example, Clifford Chance US LLP was fined $132,000 and faced other penalties for excluding non-citizens from ITAR-controlled positions.

Companies (including SpaceX) hiring for ITAR-controlled projects advertise the US Person restriction prominently on their job postings.
https://boards.greenhouse.io/spacex/jobs/5058962002?gh_jid=5058962002
Quote from: SpaceX
ITAR REQUIREMENTS:

To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) you must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident of the U.S., protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State. Learn more about the ITAR here.
In this case, the person was denied employment because they werenít a US person, not just that they werenít a US citizen. So the original post still works as long as you substitute permanent resident instead of citizen

Hi. Sorry but that is still not true. The wording includes this part: "or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State". Therefore being eligible to become a permanent resident should suffice for hiring. In reality they simply do not accept non-US persons at all (as I experienced myself).

Just wondering: have you actually contacted the US Department of State to find out if you were 'eligible to obtain the required authorization' from them?

Offline TGebs15

  • Member
  • Posts: 26
  • East Coast
  • Liked: 50
  • Likes Given: 948
Is a company ever forced to hire someone? Like what is the legal standing if during the hiring process it was decided that a person who is qualified was not chosen because they didnít come across as a good fit to the group hiring? Iím no legal expert but it seems like a manager or team has a right to decide they donít want to work someone that had a personality they didnít like. If you are allowed to make hiring decisions beyond just resume qualifications then wouldnít it be on the person who didnít get hired to prove that they were discriminated against illegally, rather than just not fitting in?

Offline steveleach

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2135
  • Liked: 2724
  • Likes Given: 951
Is a company ever forced to hire someone? Like what is the legal standing if during the hiring process it was decided that a person who is qualified was not chosen because they didnít come across as a good fit to the group hiring? Iím no legal expert but it seems like a manager or team has a right to decide they donít want to work someone that had a personality they didnít like. If you are allowed to make hiring decisions beyond just resume qualifications then wouldnít it be on the person who didnít get hired to prove that they were discriminated against illegally, rather than just not fitting in?
Isn't that exactly what's happening here? Someone is claiming that they were discriminated against illegally, and the DOJ is looking to see if there is any proof of that being a systematic bias.

Offline TGebs15

  • Member
  • Posts: 26
  • East Coast
  • Liked: 50
  • Likes Given: 948
Is a company ever forced to hire someone? Like what is the legal standing if during the hiring process it was decided that a person who is qualified was not chosen because they didnít come across as a good fit to the group hiring? Iím no legal expert but it seems like a manager or team has a right to decide they donít want to work someone that had a personality they didnít like. If you are allowed to make hiring decisions beyond just resume qualifications then wouldnít it be on the person who didnít get hired to prove that they were discriminated against illegally, rather than just not fitting in?
Isn't that exactly what's happening here? Someone is claiming that they were discriminated against illegally, and the DOJ is looking to see if there is any proof of that being a systematic bias.
Suppose so, just seems like there would be more details about specific claims. From what weíve seen theyíve just been talking eligibility to work at SpaceX. I guess itís just a waiting game to see what happens.

Update:

So after reading a CNBC article from today, the guy made it past the first round of interviews and was rejected during the technical interview rounds. This seems like a personal vendetta for not being hired and that one incident is being used in order to launch a broad investigation into SpaceX.

https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2021/02/01/spacex-vs-doj-judge-signals-it-will-be-tough-to-block-probe-subpoena.html
« Last Edit: 02/01/2021 10:00 pm by TGebs15 »

Offline steveleach

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2135
  • Liked: 2724
  • Likes Given: 951
Is a company ever forced to hire someone? Like what is the legal standing if during the hiring process it was decided that a person who is qualified was not chosen because they didnít come across as a good fit to the group hiring? Iím no legal expert but it seems like a manager or team has a right to decide they donít want to work someone that had a personality they didnít like. If you are allowed to make hiring decisions beyond just resume qualifications then wouldnít it be on the person who didnít get hired to prove that they were discriminated against illegally, rather than just not fitting in?
Isn't that exactly what's happening here? Someone is claiming that they were discriminated against illegally, and the DOJ is looking to see if there is any proof of that being a systematic bias.
Suppose so, just seems like there would be more details about specific claims. From what weíve seen theyíve just been talking eligibility to work at SpaceX. I guess itís just a waiting game to see what happens.
I think its normal in these situations for both sides to keep it low key with minimum information leaked. That way neither side looks bad when they settle.

Offline Vanspace

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 291
  • Canada
  • Liked: 377
  • Likes Given: 318
You are wrong about ITAR being easy to cut out. The rockets themselves are all ITARed up the ying yang. Virtually everything SpaceX does it ITAR/EAR (maybe not user terminals for Starlink? But even there...)

Iím telling you, I work in a materials science part of an aeronautics place (non-military), and literally everything we publish has to go through legal review to ensure nothing in there is export control. Itís an insane process that takes forever, but rockets are even more highly controlled than civilian aeronautics. SpaceX had a really hard time even getting some foreign nationals who were customers of theirs on site to see one of their launches. Having an actual employee that would basically need to be 24/7 chaperoned is just not gonna happen. This is not realistic unless ITAR/EA is massively reformed.

I never said it would be easy, just that it has been done before.

In my analysis it comes down to which of four possibilities is easiest. I think cutting ITAR is only the second most likely with some Frankenstein process to give the DoJ some symbolic oversight being most likely.

Like with microprocessors and encryption before, eventually the Defence Department going to have to decide if keeping booster tech in ITAR is worth the danger of having ITAR rewritten. When millions of people were wearing T-Shirts with encryption code, they were kinda forced to make changes. When trillions of dollars became involved in computer technology, that also forced changes. I don't think this case would have enough impact to force major changes but I do see a lot of small concessions from the DoD being required to create the Frankenstein process. Of such small victories is ultimate triumph made.
"p can not equal zero" is the only scientific Truth. I could be wrong (p<0.05)

Offline Nascent Ascent

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 739
  • Liked: 124
  • Likes Given: 106
Nation sponsored tech theft is a known problem.

Offline rubicondsrv

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 236
  • Liked: 225
  • Likes Given: 0
You are wrong about ITAR being easy to cut out. The rockets themselves are all ITARed up the ying yang. Virtually everything SpaceX does it ITAR/EAR (maybe not user terminals for Starlink? But even there...)

Iím telling you, I work in a materials science part of an aeronautics place (non-military), and literally everything we publish has to go through legal review to ensure nothing in there is export control. Itís an insane process that takes forever, but rockets are even more highly controlled than civilian aeronautics. SpaceX had a really hard time even getting some foreign nationals who were customers of theirs on site to see one of their launches. Having an actual employee that would basically need to be 24/7 chaperoned is just not gonna happen. This is not realistic unless ITAR/EA is massively reformed.

I never said it would be easy, just that it has been done before.

In my analysis it comes down to which of four possibilities is easiest. I think cutting ITAR is only the second most likely with some Frankenstein process to give the DoJ some symbolic oversight being most likely.

Like with microprocessors and encryption before, eventually the Defence Department going to have to decide if keeping booster tech in ITAR is worth the danger of having ITAR rewritten. When millions of people were wearing T-Shirts with encryption code, they were kinda forced to make changes. When trillions of dollars became involved in computer technology, that also forced changes. I don't think this case would have enough impact to force major changes but I do see a lot of small concessions from the DoD being required to create the Frankenstein process. Of such small victories is ultimate triumph made.

You would be basically asking dod/state/congress to admit defeat in attempting to control the spread of ICBM technology.  That would be a very hard sell, and if they give that up most of the other ITAR categories would seem pointless as well.  after all if what amounts to giant highly reliable ICBMS are not covered why should tactical trucks be either. 

It likely will happen eventually, but I don't see employment law gripes being the method of attack.  if anything the employment law would be changed to accommodate ITAR if it does not already. 

edited to remove reference to utility helicopters being ITAR, as they were removed from the USML in 2013, and are therefore no longer ITAR.   regardless, if you look at the US munitions list used for ITAR most of the items listed are far less "scary" to congresscritters and arms export control people than rockets.  ultimately stopping the spread of technologies is doomed to fail, but the attempt has to be made to try and keep the strategic edge they provide as long as practical. 
« Last Edit: 02/02/2021 12:24 am by rubicondsrv »

Online scientist

  • Member
  • Posts: 13
  • Europe
  • Liked: 7
  • Likes Given: 43
ITAR makes it the law to only hire citizens.

No. ITAR makes it the law to only disclose ITAR-controlled information to "US Persons".

See:
https://exportcompliancesolutions.com/blog/2018/09/20/u-s-persons-include-just-citizens/

US Persons include more than just citizens. In the above example, Clifford Chance US LLP was fined $132,000 and faced other penalties for excluding non-citizens from ITAR-controlled positions.

Companies (including SpaceX) hiring for ITAR-controlled projects advertise the US Person restriction prominently on their job postings.
https://boards.greenhouse.io/spacex/jobs/5058962002?gh_jid=5058962002
Quote from: SpaceX
ITAR REQUIREMENTS:

To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) you must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident of the U.S., protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State. Learn more about the ITAR here.
In this case, the person was denied employment because they werenít a US person, not just that they werenít a US citizen. So the original post still works as long as you substitute permanent resident instead of citizen

Hi. Sorry but that is still not true. The wording includes this part: "or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State". Therefore being eligible to become a permanent resident should suffice for hiring. In reality they simply do not accept non-US persons at all (as I experienced myself).

Just wondering: have you actually contacted the US Department of State to find out if you were 'eligible to obtain the required authorization' from them?

as far as I can understand the wording, this 'required authorisation' should refer to an authorisation to obtain the permanent residency card (green card), thus fulfilling the ITAR requirement.

There is multitude of information available on how to apply for the green card, no need to actually 'contact' the Department of State. In my case, I found that I should have a high probability to succeed. But going through the green card process first, without having the employment secured, is too much of a gamble for me.

Offline QuantumG

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9238
  • Australia
  • Liked: 4476
  • Likes Given: 1108
I looked into this a loooong time ago, basically if you've even applied for permanent residency you can be considered a "US Person" and can not be discriminated against... but that won't stop the US government from sending the ITAR goons against anyone who hires you for a role that exposes them to that sort of risk.

Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline Vanspace

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 291
  • Canada
  • Liked: 377
  • Likes Given: 318
You are wrong about ITAR being easy to cut out. The rockets themselves are all ITARed up the ying yang. Virtually everything SpaceX does it ITAR/EAR (maybe not user terminals for Starlink? But even there...)

Iím telling you, I work in a materials science part of an aeronautics place (non-military), and literally everything we publish has to go through legal review to ensure nothing in there is export control. Itís an insane process that takes forever, but rockets are even more highly controlled than civilian aeronautics. SpaceX had a really hard time even getting some foreign nationals who were customers of theirs on site to see one of their launches. Having an actual employee that would basically need to be 24/7 chaperoned is just not gonna happen. This is not realistic unless ITAR/EA is massively reformed.

I never said it would be easy, just that it has been done before.

In my analysis it comes down to which of four possibilities is easiest. I think cutting ITAR is only the second most likely with some Frankenstein process to give the DoJ some symbolic oversight being most likely.

Like with microprocessors and encryption before, eventually the Defence Department going to have to decide if keeping booster tech in ITAR is worth the danger of having ITAR rewritten. When millions of people were wearing T-Shirts with encryption code, they were kinda forced to make changes. When trillions of dollars became involved in computer technology, that also forced changes. I don't think this case would have enough impact to force major changes but I do see a lot of small concessions from the DoD being required to create the Frankenstein process. Of such small victories is ultimate triumph made.

You would be basically asking dod/state/congress to admit defeat in attempting to control the spread of ICBM technology.  That would be a very hard sell, and if they give that up most of the other ITAR categories would seem pointless as well.  after all if what amounts to giant highly reliable ICBMS are not covered why should tactical trucks be either. 

It likely will happen eventually, but I don't see employment law gripes being the method of attack.  if anything the employment law would be changed to accommodate ITAR if it does not already. 

edited to remove reference to utility helicopters being ITAR, as they were removed from the USML in 2013, and are therefore no longer ITAR.   regardless, if you look at the US munitions list used for ITAR most of the items listed are far less "scary" to congresscritters and arms export control people than rockets.  ultimately stopping the spread of technologies is doomed to fail, but the attempt has to be made to try and keep the strategic edge they provide as long as practical.

I completely agree with you and had forgotten about helicopters. Ultimately, ITAR is trying the impossible and doomed to fail no matter how justified the purpose. I also agree that rockets are 'scary' which makes it harder. But just like cars and planes and ships and helicopters, rockets also have civilian, completely non-military versions. A cryogenic booster is just about the worst possible design for any realistic military purpose. Military rockets are solid or at least storable liquids and as far as I can tell no military anywhere uses cryogenic rockets for weapons.

Encryption, Microprocessors, Helicopters all were removed when the pressure was raised by strong commercial interests arguing that restrictions have outlived their usefulness. They also had strong public support campaigns (still have my encryption T-Shirt). I can easily see SpaceX/Musk having the needed commercial interest and can see a strong public support movement being fairly easy to get going.

The key here will be separating Cryogenic Boosters from ICBMs. That won't be easy but likely easier than encryption not being spy agency stuff. The advantage being there is are easy physical distinctions between military and commercial rockets as between corporate jets and fighters. It also is a lot easier to get the DoD to admit they failed to stop the spread of ICBMs now that North Korea and Iran have homemade ICBMs.

Not easy but it has been done before and this situation fits a well defined playbook. I don't think this case will actually be the one to cause the change but it does look like it could be the starting gun. Again, long term, I see the Dept of Justice being in favor of removing commercial rockets from ITAR. Last I looked, there were 140 companies trying to build a commercial launch service. DoJ will see that as 140 fast growing companies immune to oversight. DoJ demanding a better solution is a very powerful political force.
"p can not equal zero" is the only scientific Truth. I could be wrong (p<0.05)

Offline Redclaws

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 749
  • Liked: 857
  • Likes Given: 1047
Quote
Ultimately, ITAR is trying the impossible and doomed to fail no matter how justified the purpose.

This is kinda silly.  ITAR doesnít pretend that technical know how can be kept secret forever.  ITAR is about reducing and delaying spread to help maintain a technological edge, and I think it works for that, even if it can be a bit heavy handed.
« Last Edit: 02/02/2021 03:50 am by Redclaws »

Offline Lar

  • Fan boy at large
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13463
  • Saw Gemini live on TV
  • A large LEGO storage facility ... in Michigan
  • Liked: 11864
  • Likes Given: 11081
The whole thing seems rather Kafkaesque but that's just me I guess
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline Vanspace

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 291
  • Canada
  • Liked: 377
  • Likes Given: 318
Quote
Ultimately, ITAR is trying the impossible and doomed to fail no matter how justified the purpose.

This is kinda silly.  ITAR doesnít pretend that technical know how can be kept secret forever.  ITAR is about reducing and delaying spread to help maintain a technological edge, and I think it works for that, even if it can be a bit heavy handed.

Its not silly. As you point out, it can't succeed, only delay. By the same token, since its whole purpose is to delay the day it becomes true, it can never admit it has failed or that there is no technological edge to maintain. That results in no effective, predictable mechanism for deciding something should no longer be covered. ITAR is certainly useful and it works but much like the sorcerers apprentice, once it gets going it requires active outside efforts to get it to stop when the job is done. History to date suggest a combined political, legal and financial campaign works the best.

I do not expect ITAR to go away, I expect cryogenic boosters to be dropped from ITAR like helicopters and 286 processors before them.
"p can not equal zero" is the only scientific Truth. I could be wrong (p<0.05)

Offline steveleach

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2135
  • Liked: 2724
  • Likes Given: 951
Quote
Ultimately, ITAR is trying the impossible and doomed to fail no matter how justified the purpose.

This is kinda silly.  ITAR doesnít pretend that technical know how can be kept secret forever.  ITAR is about reducing and delaying spread to help maintain a technological edge, and I think it works for that, even if it can be a bit heavy handed.

Its not silly. As you point out, it can't succeed, only delay. By the same token, since its whole purpose is to delay the day it becomes true, it can never admit it has failed or that there is no technological edge to maintain. That results in no effective, predictable mechanism for deciding something should no longer be covered. ITAR is certainly useful and it works but much like the sorcerers apprentice, once it gets going it requires active outside efforts to get it to stop when the job is done. History to date suggest a combined political, legal and financial campaign works the best.

I do not expect ITAR to go away, I expect cryogenic boosters to be dropped from ITAR like helicopters and 286 processors before them.
Only when Russia, China and India have duplicated the technology and are selling it to anyone with a bit of spare cash and a private army.

Offline Vanspace

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 291
  • Canada
  • Liked: 377
  • Likes Given: 318
Quote
Ultimately, ITAR is trying the impossible and doomed to fail no matter how justified the purpose.

This is kinda silly.  ITAR doesnít pretend that technical know how can be kept secret forever.  ITAR is about reducing and delaying spread to help maintain a technological edge, and I think it works for that, even if it can be a bit heavy handed.

Its not silly. As you point out, it can't succeed, only delay. By the same token, since its whole purpose is to delay the day it becomes true, it can never admit it has failed or that there is no technological edge to maintain. That results in no effective, predictable mechanism for deciding something should no longer be covered. ITAR is certainly useful and it works but much like the sorcerers apprentice, once it gets going it requires active outside efforts to get it to stop when the job is done. History to date suggest a combined political, legal and financial campaign works the best.

I do not expect ITAR to go away, I expect cryogenic boosters to be dropped from ITAR like helicopters and 286 processors before them.
Only when Russia, China and India have duplicated the technology and are selling it to anyone with a bit of spare cash and a private army.

Russia will gladly sell you one or dozens and even ship it to South America. Remember we are talking here because 20 years ago Russia said Elon didn't have enough money. I'm sure India will be marketing theirs shortly.
"p can not equal zero" is the only scientific Truth. I could be wrong (p<0.05)

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47313
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80124
  • Likes Given: 36283
https://www.cnbc.com/2021/02/08/spacex-subpoena-battle-with-the-doj-set-for-march-court-hearing.html

Quote
Judge sets March hearing in SpaceX dispute with government over hiring foreigners
PUBLISHED MON, FEB 8 20213:37 PM ESTUPDATED MON, FEB 8 20213:38 PM EST

Michael Sheetz
@THESHEETZTWEETZ
Dan Mangan
@_DANMANGAN

KEY POINTS

SpaceXís effort to block a U.S. Department of Justice subpoena for hiring records will be heard by a federal judge March 18.

The hearing schedule came after lawyers of SpaceX and DOJ met via videoconference with Judge Michael Wilner for a discussion and planning session.

The DOJ has been for months investigating whether the Elon Musk space company illegally discriminates against foreigners in its hiring.

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39247
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 25174
  • Likes Given: 12102
Quote
Ultimately, ITAR is trying the impossible and doomed to fail no matter how justified the purpose.

This is kinda silly.  ITAR doesnít pretend that technical know how can be kept secret forever.  ITAR is about reducing and delaying spread to help maintain a technological edge, and I think it works for that, even if it can be a bit heavy handed.

Its not silly. As you point out, it can't succeed, only delay. By the same token, since its whole purpose is to delay the day it becomes true, it can never admit it has failed or that there is no technological edge to maintain. That results in no effective, predictable mechanism for deciding something should no longer be covered. ITAR is certainly useful and it works but much like the sorcerers apprentice, once it gets going it requires active outside efforts to get it to stop when the job is done. History to date suggest a combined political, legal and financial campaign works the best.

I do not expect ITAR to go away, I expect cryogenic boosters to be dropped from ITAR like helicopters and 286 processors before them.
Naive and Wishful thinking. ITAR goes extremely deep. Everything has to be passed through lawyers before you can be sure it doesnít violate ITAR or EAR.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47313
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80124
  • Likes Given: 36283
https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/04/spacex-doj-hiring-subpoena-is-definition-of-government-overreach.html

Quote
SpaceX denounces Justice Departmentís subpoena in hiring practices investigation as Ďgovernment overreachí
PUBLISHED THU, MAR 4 20211:53 PM EST
Michael Sheetz
@THESHEETZTWEETZ

KEY POINTS

SpaceX denounced the Department of Justiceís subpoena for corporate hiring records, saying the inquiry from the DOJís Immigrant and Employee Rights Section ďis the very definition of government overreach.Ē

ďSpaceX draws the line at IERís overreaching attempt to bootstrap that lone, frivolous charge into the wide-ranging (and expanding) pattern-or-practice investigations the agency is now pursuing,Ē the company wrote in a court filing.

The strong response comes as SpaceXís first public comment on the DOJís investigation, which has been for months looking into whether the space company discriminates against applicants from foreign countries in its hiring.

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 37380
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 21317
  • Likes Given: 428
ITAR is not a DOD imposed.  It is the State Department. Even if SpaceX didn't have NASA or DOD contracts, it would still have to follow ITAR and EAR rules.

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 37380
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 21317
  • Likes Given: 428

1.  I completely agree with you and had forgotten about helicopters. Ultimately, ITAR is trying the impossible and doomed to fail no matter how justified the purpose. I also agree that rockets are 'scary' which makes it harder. But just like cars and planes and ships and helicopters, rockets also have civilian, completely non-military versions. A cryogenic booster is just about the worst possible design for any realistic military purpose. Military rockets are solid or at least storable liquids and as far as I can tell no military anywhere uses cryogenic rockets for weapons.

2.Encryption, Microprocessors, Helicopters all were removed when the pressure was raised by strong commercial interests arguing that restrictions have outlived their usefulness. They also had strong public support campaigns (still have my encryption T-Shirt). I can easily see SpaceX/Musk having the needed commercial interest and can see a strong public support movement being fairly easy to get going.

3.  The key here will be separating Cryogenic Boosters from ICBMs. That won't be easy but likely easier than encryption not being spy agency stuff. The advantage being there is are easy physical distinctions between military and commercial rockets as between corporate jets and fighters. It also is a lot easier to get the DoD to admit they failed to stop the spread of ICBMs now that North Korea and Iran have homemade ICBMs.

4. Not easy but it has been done before and this situation fits a well defined playbook. I don't think this case will actually be the one to cause the change but it does look like it could be the starting gun. Again, long term, I see the Dept of Justice being in favor of removing commercial rockets from ITAR. Last I looked, there were 140 companies trying to build a commercial launch service. DoJ will see that as 140 fast growing companies immune to oversight. DoJ demanding a better solution is a very powerful political force.


Just wrong in every way possible and delusional.

1.  wrong.  It is to slow the spread and keep the hard stuff from being on the street.  It has nothing to with cryogens.  Also, it doesn't matter about response time or complexity for a rogue state or organization.  Sending a warhead unannounced and preemptively does require a quick response time and hence solid or storable propellants are not needed.   The issue is guidance and targeting.  Those apply to all rockets regardless of propulsion.

2.  Fat chance.  Dream on.

3.  Not really and wrong
a.   INS systems on commercial jets are ITAR.
b.  not the DOD's responsibility.
c. they are not ICBMs, they still don't have the range,

4.  DOJ has no leverage here.  It has a no political clout. It doesn't care about the laws, it just enforces them it is told to.
« Last Edit: 03/04/2021 07:19 pm by Jim »

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 37380
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 21317
  • Likes Given: 428
Rather than handing over any employee information, if besides ITAR, SpaceX is bound by DOD/NASA contract requirements, why not refer DOJ to DOD/NASA general counsel?

Not their laws, but DOS.

Offline Pueo

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 146
  • Liked: 255
  • Likes Given: 202
ITAR makes it the law to only hire citizens.

No. ITAR makes it the law to only disclose ITAR-controlled information to "US Persons".

See:
https://exportcompliancesolutions.com/blog/2018/09/20/u-s-persons-include-just-citizens/

US Persons include more than just citizens. In the above example, Clifford Chance US LLP was fined $132,000 and faced other penalties for excluding non-citizens from ITAR-controlled positions.

Companies (including SpaceX) hiring for ITAR-controlled projects advertise the US Person restriction prominently on their job postings.
https://boards.greenhouse.io/spacex/jobs/5058962002?gh_jid=5058962002
Quote from: SpaceX
ITAR REQUIREMENTS:

To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) you must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident of the U.S., protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State. Learn more about the ITAR here.
In this case, the person was denied employment because they werenít a US person, not just that they werenít a US citizen. So the original post still works as long as you substitute permanent resident instead of citizen

It looks like there's been a communications breakdown somewhere between the claimant, SpaceX, and the DOJ, because from the article: "[the claimant] is not a U.S. citizen, but according to a document filed by SpaceX in response to the DOJ subpoena he is a 'lawful permanent [U.S.] resident holding dual citizenship from Austria and Canada.' "

However if it's true that the question about legal status was only asked in the initial interview, not in the "technical phone screen", and that only a subset of applicants from the initial interview were contacted for the "technical phone screen" this looks like a difficult case for the claimant to prove.
Could I interest you in some clean burning sub-cooled propalox and propalox accessories?
Forget drinking ethanol meant for rocket fuel, prop∆ne is the eutectic fuel mixture you can huff!

Offline dondar

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 433
  • the Netherlands
  • Liked: 297
  • Likes Given: 256
DOJ makes it clear to me that ITAR and EAR cannot stop employment if qualified. It does say employer needs State and DoD reviews and employee may be barred from projects without it.  Therefore I interpret this is a you must hire the person if qualified but they may not be allowed on a project unless State and DoD agrees.  In Practice, no employer would hire legal status questionable persons since it is a pain, hence this lawsuit.
finally somebody who understands.
Nevertheless the "dispute" is about something else. Does anybody actually read SpaceX objections? They are actually quite clear.

The DoJ demands sound like they were written by some immigrant from latin America or Russia. The mere reasoning are extremely alien to the common practices.

Offline dondar

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 433
  • the Netherlands
  • Liked: 297
  • Likes Given: 256
ITAR makes it the law to only hire citizens.

No. ITAR makes it the law to only disclose ITAR-controlled information to "US Persons".

See:
https://exportcompliancesolutions.com/blog/2018/09/20/u-s-persons-include-just-citizens/

US Persons include more than just citizens. In the above example, Clifford Chance US LLP was fined $132,000 and faced other penalties for excluding non-citizens from ITAR-controlled positions.

Companies (including SpaceX) hiring for ITAR-controlled projects advertise the US Person restriction prominently on their job postings.
https://boards.greenhouse.io/spacex/jobs/5058962002?gh_jid=5058962002
Quote from: SpaceX
ITAR REQUIREMENTS:

To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) you must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident of the U.S., protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State. Learn more about the ITAR here.
In this case, the person was denied employment because they werenít a US person, not just that they werenít a US citizen. So the original post still works as long as you substitute permanent resident instead of citizen

It looks like there's been a communications breakdown somewhere between the claimant, SpaceX, and the DOJ, because from the article: "[the claimant] is not a U.S. citizen, but according to a document filed by SpaceX in response to the DOJ subpoena he is a 'lawful permanent [U.S.] resident holding dual citizenship from Austria and Canada.' "

However if it's true that the question about legal status was only asked in the initial interview, not in the "technical phone screen", and that only a subset of applicants from the initial interview were contacted for the "technical phone screen" this looks like a difficult case for the claimant to prove.
as it was pointed by SpaceX and is well known to anybody who ever applied to anywhere residence status, citizenship etc. are on the first page of (any) application/CV. SpaceX knew who he was and where he came from before arranging interview.

Offline steveleach

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2135
  • Liked: 2724
  • Likes Given: 951
ITAR makes it the law to only hire citizens.

No. ITAR makes it the law to only disclose ITAR-controlled information to "US Persons".

See:
https://exportcompliancesolutions.com/blog/2018/09/20/u-s-persons-include-just-citizens/

US Persons include more than just citizens. In the above example, Clifford Chance US LLP was fined $132,000 and faced other penalties for excluding non-citizens from ITAR-controlled positions.

Companies (including SpaceX) hiring for ITAR-controlled projects advertise the US Person restriction prominently on their job postings.
https://boards.greenhouse.io/spacex/jobs/5058962002?gh_jid=5058962002
Quote from: SpaceX
ITAR REQUIREMENTS:

To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) you must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident of the U.S., protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State. Learn more about the ITAR here.
In this case, the person was denied employment because they werenít a US person, not just that they werenít a US citizen. So the original post still works as long as you substitute permanent resident instead of citizen

It looks like there's been a communications breakdown somewhere between the claimant, SpaceX, and the DOJ, because from the article: "[the claimant] is not a U.S. citizen, but according to a document filed by SpaceX in response to the DOJ subpoena he is a 'lawful permanent [U.S.] resident holding dual citizenship from Austria and Canada.' "

However if it's true that the question about legal status was only asked in the initial interview, not in the "technical phone screen", and that only a subset of applicants from the initial interview were contacted for the "technical phone screen" this looks like a difficult case for the claimant to prove.
as it was pointed by SpaceX and is well known to anybody who ever applied to anywhere residence status, citizenship etc. are on the first page of (any) application/CV. SpaceX knew who he was and where he came from before arranging interview.
Are you, as an employer, allowed to do something like: "looks like an ITAR nightmare but we'll interview them anyway because they may be sh*t hot and worth the bother" followed by "hmm, no, just average.... next!"

?

Offline su27k

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6414
  • Liked: 9097
  • Likes Given: 885
Federal judge rules SpaceX must comply with DOJ subpoena of hiring records

Quote
A U.S. judge ruled on Wednesday that Elon Muskís SpaceX must comply with a Department of Justice subpoena for the companyís hiring records, opening the door to a federal probe into the company.

ďRespondent SpaceX is ORDERED to comply in full with the subpoena within 21 days,Ē U.S. judge Dolly Gee wrote in the order.

Geeís court reviewed the case over the past two months, following SpaceXís objection in April to the recommendation by another federal judge that the company should be forced to comply with the subpoena.

Offline steveleach

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2135
  • Liked: 2724
  • Likes Given: 951
Federal judge rules SpaceX must comply with DOJ subpoena of hiring records

Quote
A U.S. judge ruled on Wednesday that Elon Muskís SpaceX must comply with a Department of Justice subpoena for the companyís hiring records, opening the door to a federal probe into the company.

ďRespondent SpaceX is ORDERED to comply in full with the subpoena within 21 days,Ē U.S. judge Dolly Gee wrote in the order.

Geeís court reviewed the case over the past two months, following SpaceXís objection in April to the recommendation by another federal judge that the company should be forced to comply with the subpoena.


Like the other folks here, I'm having trouble identifying where SpaceX is in the wrong here.
If the DOJ has a legitimate need for the information they requested in order to investigate a potential violation of employment law then SpaceX is in the wrong. If there was no legitimate need then they weren't.

The courts will decide which it is, presumably.

Looks like the courts have decided that the DOJ did have a legitimate need for the information they requested.

SpaceX can now freely release all that information about other employees without fear of being found guilty of not sufficiently protecting that personal information.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47313
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80124
  • Likes Given: 36283

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39247
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 25174
  • Likes Given: 12102
Ridiculous. The security requirements of almost any SpaceX position make this super hard for anyone not a US citizen, let alone someone without a well-established permanent residency (green card).

Iím super supportive of refugees and asylum seekers, but the federal government should be looking in the d*mn mirror when it comes to their hyper-paranoid criteria with respect to ITAR/EAR/etc.
« Last Edit: 08/24/2023 05:07 pm by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39247
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 25174
  • Likes Given: 12102
SpaceX should counter-sue the US government for making it so dang hard to get permanent residency in the first place.

ITAR/EAR/etc are so ambiguous and the political consequences of screwing it up are so big, that it makes complete sense, and is totally rational and fair, for SpaceX to restrict hiring as they would have to emplacements huge information (and physical) barriers within the company if they were to hire people who didnít have permanent residency. Including having to have someone chaperone them around different parts of the company.

Itís absolutely rich that the DoJ is basically blaming SpaceX for the ambiguity of export restrictions and other security measures that the federal government imposed.
« Last Edit: 08/24/2023 04:36 pm by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47313
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80124
  • Likes Given: 36283
https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1694749030843052408

Quote
The DOJ lawsuit against SpaceX centers around the hiring under ITAR and EAR regulations.

"Export control laws and regulations do not prohibit or restrict employers from hiring asylees and refugees."

Highlights mine. You can read the full lawsuit here:

https://www.cnbc.com/2023/08/24/doj-sues-spacex-alleging-hiring-discrimination-against-refugees-and-asylum-seekers.html

Offline Star One

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13942
  • UK
  • Liked: 3950
  • Likes Given: 220
Ridiculous. The security requirements of almost any SpaceX position make this super hard for anyone not a US citizen, let alone someone with a well-established permanent residency (green card).

Iím super supportive of refugees and asylum seekers, but the federal government should be looking in the d*mn mirror when it comes to their hyper-paranoid criteria with respect to ITAR/EAR/etc.
Guess you donít know the rules too well judging by the post under yours. Or did you just assume you were better versed in them than the DOJ.
« Last Edit: 08/24/2023 04:40 pm by Star One »

Offline whitelancer64

The company I work for is ITAR compliant, I would have assumed that asylum seekers and refugees would need to have legal residency squared away before they could be hired.

In SpaceX's defense, the consequences of being in violation of ITAR, even unknowingly, are extremely serious. If asylum seekers and refugees can be hired under ITAR, that is something the law should be very, very clear on rather than having companies err on the side of caution.
« Last Edit: 08/24/2023 04:52 pm by whitelancer64 »
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39247
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 25174
  • Likes Given: 12102
https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1694749030843052408

Quote
The DOJ lawsuit against SpaceX centers around the hiring under ITAR and EAR regulations.

"Export control laws and regulations do not prohibit or restrict employers from hiring asylees and refugees."

Highlights mine. You can read the full lawsuit here:

https://www.cnbc.com/2023/08/24/doj-sues-spacex-alleging-hiring-discrimination-against-refugees-and-asylum-seekers.html
Thatís the claim, but yeah, they pretty much do. Youíd literally need to chaperone each non-permanent-resident at all times, restrict any documentation or presentations that have not been through export review, etc. Even janitorial services see printouts, etc.

I work at an aerospace agency, and even our intern presentations all have to go through export review before anyone who isnít a US permanent resident can see it. Every single one. Every non-permanent-resident visitor needs to have a special badge with bright red lettering on it indicating they need to be chaperoned at all times.

So yeah. Probably this DoJ lawyer doesnít understand how big of a pain it is.
« Last Edit: 08/24/2023 04:57 pm by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline StormtrooperJoe

  • Member
  • Posts: 66
  • Liked: 97
  • Likes Given: 15
I have spent my whole professional career so far in the defense/aerospace industry, and my experience so far has been that outside of actual classified information (which only a small number of SpaceX employees should require), what is important is your permanent residency status, not your citizenship. There is some grey area, for example if you a permanent resident of the United States, but work for a foreign entity, then you are considered a foreign agent, but I don't think that should apply in most cases. Given that, I see no reason why SpaceX should be having issues hiring non-citizen permanent residents for most positions.

However I am not a lawyer, my experience with it comes from the many ITAR trainings I have had to take over the years and the practices of the companies I have worked at.

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39247
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 25174
  • Likes Given: 12102
I have spent my whole professional career so far in the defense/aerospace industry, and my experience so far has been that outside of actual classified information (which only a small number of SpaceX employees should require), what is important is your permanent residency status, not your citizenship. There is some grey area, for example if you a permanent resident of the United States, but work for a foreign entity, then you are considered a foreign agent, but I don't think that should apply in most cases. Given that, I see no reason why SpaceX should be having issues hiring non-citizen permanent residents for most positions.

However I am not a lawyer, my experience with it comes from the many ITAR trainings I have had to take over the years and the practices of the companies I have worked at.
The context here is people without permanent residency .

Also, the rules have gotten stricter even in just the last 10 years Iíve been in the industry.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39247
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 25174
  • Likes Given: 12102
I hate ITAR/EAR and the huge barriers to getting legal permanent residency with a passion. You probably wonít find anyone more passionate about those two things than me. But these failures are the federal governmentís fault, not private companies, so when the federal government sues a private company for a problem THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CREATED, it ticks me off.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline wannamoonbase

  • Elite Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5366
  • Denver, CO
    • U.S. Metric Association
  • Liked: 3075
  • Likes Given: 3804
I hate ITAR/EAR and the huge barriers to getting legal permanent residency with a passion. You probably wonít find anyone more passionate about those two things than me. But these failures are the federal governmentís fault, not private companies, so when the federal government sues a private company for a problem THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CREATED, it ticks me off.

ITAR is a big hurdle but security of missile propulsion is also a big deal.

We live in an age where national security isn't front of mind.  But it always should be.
Wildly optimistic prediction, Superheavy recovery on IFT-4 or IFT-5

Offline envy887

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8133
  • Liked: 6781
  • Likes Given: 2961
https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1694749030843052408

Quote
The DOJ lawsuit against SpaceX centers around the hiring under ITAR and EAR regulations.

"Export control laws and regulations do not prohibit or restrict employers from hiring asylees and refugees."

Highlights mine. You can read the full lawsuit here:

https://www.cnbc.com/2023/08/24/doj-sues-spacex-alleging-hiring-discrimination-against-refugees-and-asylum-seekers.html
Thatís the claim, but yeah, they pretty much do. Youíd literally need to chaperone each non-permanent-resident at all times, restrict any documentation or presentations that have not been through export review, etc. Even janitorial services see printouts, etc.

I work at an aerospace agency, and even our intern presentations all have to go through export review before anyone who isnít a US permanent resident can see it. Every single one. Every non-permanent-resident visitor needs to have a special badge with bright red lettering on it indicating they need to be chaperoned at all times.

So yeah. Probably this DoJ lawyer doesnít understand how big of a pain it is.

Asylees and refugees are "protected persons" and can handle ITAR materials in the same way as citizens and LPRs.

But yeah, if you want companies to trust that they won't get in trouble, the law needs to be a lot more explicit about it. This suit is transparently trying to get the courts to fix something that should really be fixed by Congress.

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39247
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 25174
  • Likes Given: 12102
Well, if greater clarity to the situation is brought by this lawsuit, that would be a really good thing.

SpaceX would be able to point to this lawsuit as justification if any future ITAR/EAR snaggles occur.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39247
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 25174
  • Likes Given: 12102
https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1694749030843052408

Quote
The DOJ lawsuit against SpaceX centers around the hiring under ITAR and EAR regulations.

"Export control laws and regulations do not prohibit or restrict employers from hiring asylees and refugees."

Highlights mine. You can read the full lawsuit here:

https://www.cnbc.com/2023/08/24/doj-sues-spacex-alleging-hiring-discrimination-against-refugees-and-asylum-seekers.html
That’s the claim, but yeah, they pretty much do. You’d literally need to chaperone each non-permanent-resident at all times, restrict any documentation or presentations that have not been through export review, etc. Even janitorial services see printouts, etc.

I work at an aerospace agency, and even our intern presentations all have to go through export review before anyone who isn’t a US permanent resident can see it. Every single one. Every non-permanent-resident visitor needs to have a special badge with bright red lettering on it indicating they need to be chaperoned at all times.

So yeah. Probably this DoJ lawyer doesn’t understand how big of a pain it is.

Asylees and refugees are "protected persons" and can handle ITAR materials in the same way as citizens and LPRs.

But yeah, if you want companies to trust that they won't get in trouble, the law needs to be a lot more explicit about it. This suit is transparently trying to get the courts to fix something that should really be fixed by Congress.
Agreed.

There are multiple definitions of “US Person” in the code and government websites. Some make reference to “protected individuals” and some do not. This Biden era Executive Order, for instance, makes reference to US persons as citizens and permanent residents, but doesn’t mention “protected individuals.”

https://www.whitecase.com/insight-alert/president-biden-orders-establishment-new-program-restrict-us-outbound-investment

(Similar executive orders use similar definitions, including a 2012 EO.)
« Last Edit: 08/24/2023 08:24 pm by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline meekGee

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 14107
  • N. California
  • Liked: 13974
  • Likes Given: 1389
Ridiculous. The security requirements of almost any SpaceX position make this super hard for anyone not a US citizen, let alone someone with a well-established permanent residency (green card).

I’m super supportive of refugees and asylum seekers, but the federal government should be looking in the d*mn mirror when it comes to their hyper-paranoid criteria with respect to ITAR/EAR/etc.
Guess you don’t know the rules too well judging by the post under yours. Or did you just assume you were better versed in them than the DOJ.
The rules can be self contradictory or just impractical.

You can hire them, but can't expose them to 90% of your information...  So what exactly are you supposed to do?
ABCD - Always Be Counting Down

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39247
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 25174
  • Likes Given: 12102
Note that JPLís internships say they require you to be a US citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident (green card holder). NASAís internship program is stricter, requiring you to be a citizen.

Iíd love for the DoJ to sue the federal government so we can figure out whatís real or not.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline ulm_atms

  • Rocket Junky
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 916
  • To boldly go where no government has gone before.
  • Liked: 1540
  • Likes Given: 726
I'm sorry but there is something stupid about suing one of two DoD fully certified/clearanced launch providers for some of the most sensitive devices made.....because they won't hire non-US citizens.   :o

I get that they "technically" can, but, as Robotbeat showed, it ain't just SpaceX.  Their entire defense could be, "We are just doing what NASA and everyone else does." and then all evidence submitted is all the job requirements from everyone else showing that.  That would be an interesting argument IMO.

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39247
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 25174
  • Likes Given: 12102
Hereís a Jacobs listing for NASA work:
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline envy887

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8133
  • Liked: 6781
  • Likes Given: 2961
Reading the suit, I think it's notable that the DOJ does not claim that SpaceX ever directly said "refugees and asylees cannot work here". This is interesting because "must be a citizen or LPR", which is what SpaceX did say, is a perfectly valid response to anyone not a asylee/refugee, e.g. someone who wants to work on a H1B visa. It is factually correct that those people MUST seek LPR/citizen status (or State approval) to work with controlled materials.

It's also interesting that DOJ does not claim that SpaceX rejected a refugee/asylee who proved their ability to work - they only claim that SpaceX rejected people who "self-identified" as an asylees/refugees. But self-identifying is completely insufficient for ITAR, so if someone hasn't provided the documents to prove their status, then marking "not ITAR" is technically correct.

There are also some other absurd claims like "ITAR and EAR do not contain employment or hiring restrictions. They do not require employers to limit jobs based on citizenship or immigration status". That's just laughable.

I'm sure this is headed for a settlement where SpaceX implements a bunch of corrective actions to improve their hiring processes, but doesn't pay any significant amounts of fines.
« Last Edit: 08/26/2023 02:49 am by envy887 »

Offline mrhuggy

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 661
  • East Yorkshire, UK
  • Liked: 436
  • Likes Given: 14
Here is the full document on this case, also attached  it as a PDF

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/23926009-doj-v-spacex

It basically reads like a argument over how SpaceX has implemented the rules on hiring people and ITAR, DOJ is saying that SpaceX has been overdoing it when it comes to ITAR and that people have been rejected because of it when they shouldn't of been.

Ok SpaceX may of overly done the ITAR in terms of hiring people but the sanctions that the DOJ want like forcing SpaceX to hire the people, paying them the wages they would of got with interest from when they would of got hired does seem to be overly doing that sanctionsby a bit.

Offline dondar

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 433
  • the Netherlands
  • Liked: 297
  • Likes Given: 256
As I am sure it was said already to SpaceX in 2021 they need to split SpaceX into security clearance (make it "everything") and the export free group and put information firewall in between. As far as current work force goes ~99% of them fit in the first group.


This lack of focus is f-ing everywhere.

ITAR circus is about security clearance "availability" and limitations of "sharing" info with other countries.

Offline redneck

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 281
  • swamp in Florida
  • Liked: 149
  • Likes Given: 113
As I am sure it was said already to SpaceX in 2021 they need to split SpaceX into security clearance (make it "everything") and the export free group and put information firewall in between. As far as current work force goes ~99% of them fit in the first group.


This lack of focus is f-ing everywhere.

ITAR circus is about security clearance "availability" and limitations of "sharing" info with other countries.

And then the next time some bureaucrat gets a wild hair and demands proof that the "uncleared" never had access to classified anything?? Putting the company i the position of guilty until proven innocent by way of proving a negative??

Offline ulm_atms

  • Rocket Junky
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 916
  • To boldly go where no government has gone before.
  • Liked: 1540
  • Likes Given: 726
As I am sure it was said already to SpaceX in 2021 they need to split SpaceX into security clearance (make it "everything") and the export free group and put information firewall in between. As far as current work force goes ~99% of them fit in the first group.


This lack of focus is f-ing everywhere.

ITAR circus is about security clearance "availability" and limitations of "sharing" info with other countries.

And then the next time some bureaucrat gets a wild hair and demands proof that the "uncleared" never had access to classified anything?? Putting the company i the position of guilty until proven innocent by way of proving a negative??
And this right here is the ENTIRE issue with ITAR in the first place.  Follow it to the letter which is about as fuzzy as fuzz or get beat down when you can't prove a negative....or some stupid crap like that.

Fix the ACTUAL problem(ITAR language) instead of all this other BS that only makes the problem worse!

ITAR is one of those thing with good meaning but a crap show on implementation.

Offline rsnellenberger

  • Amateur wood butcher
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 835
  • Harbor Springs, Michigan
  • Liked: 370
  • Likes Given: 55
As I am sure it was said already to SpaceX in 2021 they need to split SpaceX into security clearance (make it "everything") and the export free group and put information firewall in between. As far as current work force goes ~99% of them fit in the first group.


This lack of focus is f-ing everywhere.

ITAR circus is about security clearance "availability" and limitations of "sharing" info with other countries.
If SpaceX ends up being required to provide ITAR-free "compliance" jobs to folks, that office should be located in Left Armpit, North Dakota or somewhere on the Seward Peninsula.

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39247
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 25174
  • Likes Given: 12102
As I am sure it was said already to SpaceX in 2021 they need to split SpaceX into security clearance (make it "everything") and the export free group and put information firewall in between. As far as current work force goes ~99% of them fit in the first group.


This lack of focus is f-ing everywhere.

ITAR circus is about security clearance "availability" and limitations of "sharing" info with other countries.
This isnít practical. Which is why NASA only offers internships to citizens.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline DistantTemple

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1992
  • England
  • Liked: 1693
  • Likes Given: 2808
In the current climate, with clandestine operations being carried out against NATO partners, (hacking closed down part of Polish railways today), and as some say raised threats to European, NATO and US interests, a change in the law is needed to exempt any section of a company involved in sensitive technology from "employing non citizens" etc.
Any Musk industry could be at a raised risk of espionage or attack due to the help Starlink continues to give Ukraine, and has largely mitigated the lack of access to Soyuz launches. An issue with either Starlink or F9 would "Give Comfort" to Russia. Viasat, and possibly Dozor-Teleport (today)(https://www.pcmag.com/news/wagner-hackers-say-they-shut-down-russian-satellite-internet-provider ) Are proof of the danger.
Could a presidential decree do anything. Could such a change be added to the next Ukraine funding package legislation?
We can always grow new new dendrites. Reach out and make connections and your world will burst with new insights. Then repose in consciousness.

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39247
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 25174
  • Likes Given: 12102
Permanent residence is probably fine, too.

The federal government could solve the ambiguity immediately by granting permanent residence to refugees/asylees. Instead they sue companies for ďdiscriminationĒ to sort of launder the federal governmentís own guilt.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline JayWee

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 983
  • Liked: 979
  • Likes Given: 1787
SpaceX employee #4 - Hans Koenigsmann - is a German citizen with a green card.

Offline DistantTemple

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1992
  • England
  • Liked: 1693
  • Likes Given: 2808
SpaceX employee #4 - Hans Koenigsmann - is a German citizen with a green card.
Wernher von Braun was acquired from the enemy. He surrendered on 2nd May 1945. On 15 April 1955, von Braun became a naturalized citizen of the United States.  Exceptions prove little.
We can always grow new new dendrites. Reach out and make connections and your world will burst with new insights. Then repose in consciousness.

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39247
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 25174
  • Likes Given: 12102
SpaceX employee #4 - Hans Koenigsmann - is a German citizen with a green card.
Permanent Residents (ie green card holders) are totally fine. Thatís not the question.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline DistantTemple

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1992
  • England
  • Liked: 1693
  • Likes Given: 2808
In the current climate, with clandestine operations being carried out against NATO partners, (hacking closed down part of Polish railways today), and as some say raised threats to European, NATO and US interests, a change in the law is needed to exempt any section of a company involved in sensitive technology from "employing non citizens" etc.
Any Musk industry could be at a raised risk of espionage or attack due to the help Starlink continues to give Ukraine, and has largely mitigated the lack of access to Soyuz launches. An issue with either Starlink or F9 would "Give Comfort" to Russia. Viasat, and possibly Dozor-Teleport (today)(https://www.pcmag.com/news/wagner-hackers-say-they-shut-down-russian-satellite-internet-provider ) Are proof of the danger.
Could a presidential decree do anything. Could such a change be added to the next Ukraine funding package legislation?
Quoting my own post to add to it with more information.
In the following case reported today, the suspect had gained (Sweedish) citizenship. Obviously this is a step removed from the US. However it shows again there is ongoing risk of hostile intelligence gathering.

Quote from: INDEPENDENT.co.uk
“The business further consisted of acquiring data in the form of information about and the acquisition of various objects that the Russian state and the armed forces — due to export regulations and sanctions — were not able to procure on the open market.”

Swedish broadcaster SVT said Skvortsov had lived in Sweden for 25 years and obtained Swedish citizenship in 2012.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/ap-sweden-gru-svt-stockholm-b2400526.html
Normally limiting ITAR etc to citizens/green cards etc at least provides some level of protection. IMO it is a mistake to risk reducing these protections in the current situation.
« Last Edit: 08/28/2023 11:07 am by DistantTemple »
We can always grow new new dendrites. Reach out and make connections and your world will burst with new insights. Then repose in consciousness.

Offline envy887

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8133
  • Liked: 6781
  • Likes Given: 2961
Permanent residence is probably fine, too.

The federal government could solve the ambiguity immediately by granting permanent residence to refugees/asylees. Instead they sue companies for ďdiscriminationĒ to sort of launder the federal governmentís own guilt.

Pretty much. The current situation is absurd. We're saying that we trust refugees enough to give them access to sensitive weapons technology, but at the same time we don't trust them enough to let them live here permanently.

That's an absurd contradiction. We need to pick one or the other.

Offline Starmang10

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 176
  • Liked: 74
  • Likes Given: 0
so spacex  is getting investigated for following the law apparently???
hi! I am a 13 year old neurodivergent individual, although I can understand most things adults can too. I  have been interested in space since I was 5. Although I still have a lot to learn, I try my hardest to understand others, although sometimes I might not, so please correct me if I do not listen to others. thanks!

Offline envy887

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8133
  • Liked: 6781
  • Likes Given: 2961
Maybe someone who reads legalese can correct me, but by my reading of the ITAR definition, everyone who isn't both an "LPR" and a "protected person" is a "foreign person".

"ß 120.63 Foreign person.
Foreign person means any natural person who is not a lawful permanent resident as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(20) or who is not a protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3). ..."

That seems to disprove the claim that non-LPR can work ITAR.

Offline Barley

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1002
  • Liked: 669
  • Likes Given: 366
Maybe someone who reads legalese can correct me, but by my reading of the ITAR definition, everyone who isn't both an "LPR" and a "protected person" is a "foreign person".

"ß 120.63 Foreign person.
Foreign person means any natural person who is not a lawful permanent resident as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(20) or who is not a protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3). ..."

That seems to disprove the claim that non-LPR can work ITAR.
When reading legalese you need to realize that "and", "or", and "not" do not mean "and", "or", and "not" at least in that order.   Also De Morgans laws are mere suggestions and don't apply much of the time.  The precedence and order of evaluation of operators are not well defined so they make it up as they go along, often with different results for apparently identical phrasing.

In the above lawyers will almost certainly read "or" as "and".

Offline whitelancer64

Maybe someone who reads legalese can correct me, but by my reading of the ITAR definition, everyone who isn't both an "LPR" and a "protected person" is a "foreign person".

"ß 120.63 Foreign person.
Foreign person means any natural person who is not a lawful permanent resident as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(20) or who is not a protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3). ..."

That seems to disprove the claim that non-LPR can work ITAR.

For reference:

This is part of ITAR:

22 CFR ß 120.62 - U.S. person.

U.S. person means a person who is a lawful permanent resident as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(20) or who is a protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3). It also means any corporation, business association, partnership, society, trust, or any other entity, organization, or group that is incorporated to do business in the United States. It also includes any governmental (Federal, state, or local) entity. It does not include any foreign person as defined in ß 120.63.

This is part of immigration law:

8 U.S. Code Chapter 12 - IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY

8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(20)

(20)The term ďlawfully admitted for permanent residenceĒ means the status of having been lawfully accorded the privilege of residing permanently in the United States as an immigrant in accordance with the immigration laws, such status not having changed.

8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3)

(3)ďProtected individualĒ defined
As used in paragraph (1), the term ďprotected individualĒ means an individual whoó
(A)is a citizen or national of the United States, or
(B)is an alien who is lawfully admitted for permanent residence, is granted the status of an alien lawfully admitted for temporary residence under section 1160(a) or 1255a(a)(1) of this title, is admitted as a refugee under section 1157 of this title, or is granted asylum under section 1158 of this title; but does not include (i) an alien who fails to apply for naturalization within six months of the date the alien first becomes eligible (by virtue of period of lawful permanent residence) to apply for naturalization or, if later, within six months after November 6, 1986, and (ii) an alien who has applied on a timely basis, but has not been naturalized as a citizen within 2 years after the date of the application, unless the alien can establish that the alien is actively pursuing naturalization, except that time consumed in the Serviceís processing the application shall not be counted toward the 2-year period.
« Last Edit: 08/30/2023 07:05 pm by whitelancer64 »
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39247
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 25174
  • Likes Given: 12102
Just a reminder that sensitive technology is subject to many more restrictions than just ITAR. For instance, EAR which defines ďU.S. PersonĒ differently than the DoJ does for ITAR.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline whitelancer64

Just a reminder that sensitive technology is subject to many more restrictions than just ITAR. For instance, EAR which defines ďU.S. PersonĒ differently than the DoJ does for ITAR.

For reference:

U.S. Person.

(a) For purposes of ßß 732.3(j), 736.2(b)(7), 740.21(e)(1), 744.6, 744.10, 744.11, 744.12, 744.13, 744.14, and 745.2(a)(1) of the EAR, the term U.S. person includes:

(1) Any individual who is a citizen of the United States, a permanent resident alien of the United States, or a protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3);

(2) Any juridical person organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States, including foreign branches; and

(3) Any person in the United States.

(b) See also ßß 740.9, 740.14, and 740.21(f)(2) and parts 746 and 760 of the EAR for definitions of ďU.S. personĒ that are specific to those sections and parts.

"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39247
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 25174
  • Likes Given: 12102
Yeah, but EAR is not a SINGLE statute or executive order but in fact is authorized by a series of such statutes and executive orders, some of which use a different definition of US person. The only safe option, then, would be to use the definition which works in all those definitions, ie permanent resident or citizen.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline Barley

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1002
  • Liked: 669
  • Likes Given: 366
Yeah, but EAR is not a SINGLE statute or executive order but in fact is authorized by a series of such statutes and executive orders, some of which use a different definition of US person. The only safe option, then, would be to use the definition which works in all those definitions, ie permanent resident or citizen.
The scopes of different definitions are usually explicit and clear.  The safe thing to do is to assume they mean what they say and apply the different definitions in the defined scopes.

Offline Zed_Noir

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5412
  • Canada
  • Liked: 1785
  • Likes Given: 1287
Yeah, but EAR is not a SINGLE statute or executive order but in fact is authorized by a series of such statutes and executive orders, some of which use a different definition of US person. The only safe option, then, would be to use the definition which works in all those definitions, ie permanent resident or citizen.
The scopes of different definitions are usually explicit and clear.  The safe thing to do is to assume they mean what they say and apply the different definitions in the defined scopes.
Would you bet your career and likely taking a judicial penalty that you interpreted the many statures and executive orders correctly?

Offline envy887

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8133
  • Liked: 6781
  • Likes Given: 2961
Maybe someone who reads legalese can correct me, but by my reading of the ITAR definition, everyone who isn't both an "LPR" and a "protected person" is a "foreign person".

"ß 120.63 Foreign person.
Foreign person means any natural person who is not a lawful permanent resident as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(20) or who is not a protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3). ..."

That seems to disprove the claim that non-LPR can work ITAR.
When reading legalese you need to realize that "and", "or", and "not" do not mean "and", "or", and "not" at least in that order.   Also De Morgans laws are mere suggestions and don't apply much of the time.  The precedence and order of evaluation of operators are not well defined so they make it up as they go along, often with different results for apparently identical phrasing.

In the above lawyers will almost certainly read "or" as "and".

The immediately preceding section, 120.62, uses an identical structure to form almost the exact same sentence:

"U.S. person means a person who is a lawful permanent resident as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(20) or who is a protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3)."

The "or" in 120.62 is definitely a logical "or", but I don't understand why the "or" here would mean "or", while in the very next section in an identical construct it would mean "and".

Offline mn

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1008
  • United States
  • Liked: 850
  • Likes Given: 318
Maybe someone who reads legalese can correct me, but by my reading of the ITAR definition, everyone who isn't both an "LPR" and a "protected person" is a "foreign person".

"ß 120.63 Foreign person.
Foreign person means any natural person who is not a lawful permanent resident as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(20) or who is not a protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3). ..."

That seems to disprove the claim that non-LPR can work ITAR.
When reading legalese you need to realize that "and", "or", and "not" do not mean "and", "or", and "not" at least in that order.   Also De Morgans laws are mere suggestions and don't apply much of the time.  The precedence and order of evaluation of operators are not well defined so they make it up as they go along, often with different results for apparently identical phrasing.

In the above lawyers will almost certainly read "or" as "and".

The immediately preceding section, 120.62, uses an identical structure to form almost the exact same sentence:

"U.S. person means a person who is a lawful permanent resident as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(20) or who is a protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3)."

The "or" in 120.62 is definitely a logical "or", but I don't understand why the "or" here would mean "or", while in the very next section in an identical construct it would mean "and".

The first section describes a 'US person' which satisfies condition A or B

The next paragraph describes a foreign person,  now there's lots of ways to express that:

'not A or B' to be interpreted as 'neither A nor B'.

'not A and B', to be interpreted as 'not A and not B'

Or the precise programming construct of 'not (A or B)'

If they were real programmers they would have written 'anyone who is not a US person as described in section...'

All these sentences ultimately mean the same thing. But the writers are not programmers so what they actually wrote is fairly clear and obvious IMHO (obviously not a lawyer)
« Last Edit: 08/31/2023 03:06 am by mn »

Offline Barley

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1002
  • Liked: 669
  • Likes Given: 366
Maybe someone who reads legalese can correct me, but by my reading of the ITAR definition, everyone who isn't both an "LPR" and a "protected person" is a "foreign person".

"ß 120.63 Foreign person.
Foreign person means any natural person who is not a lawful permanent resident as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(20) or who is not a protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3). ..."

That seems to disprove the claim that non-LPR can work ITAR.
When reading legalese you need to realize that "and", "or", and "not" do not mean "and", "or", and "not" at least in that order.   Also De Morgans laws are mere suggestions and don't apply much of the time.  The precedence and order of evaluation of operators are not well defined so they make it up as they go along, often with different results for apparently identical phrasing.

In the above lawyers will almost certainly read "or" as "and".

The immediately preceding section, 120.62, uses an identical structure to form almost the exact same sentence:

"U.S. person means a person who is a lawful permanent resident as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(20) or who is a protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3)."

The "or" in 120.62 is definitely a logical "or", but I don't understand why the "or" here would mean "or", while in the very next section in an identical construct it would mean "and".

The first section describes a 'US person' which satisfies condition A or B

The next paragraph describes a foreign person,  now there's lots of ways to express that:

'not A or B' to be interpreted as 'neither A nor B'.

'not A and B', to be interpreted as 'not A and not B'

Or the precise programming construct of 'not (A or B)'

All these sentences ultimately mean the same thing. But the writers are not programmers so what they actually wrote is fairly clear and obvious IMHO (obviously not a lawyer)
What they actually wrote was
'not A or not B' to be interpreted as 'not A and not B'

This may be clear (on the basis that they could not have meant what they said) but it is neither standard logic nor standard English, hence my snide comment about lawyers. It doesn't help that A and B are not clearly distinct because of  8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3)(B)

IMHO if they wanted to define a foreign person as person who is not a US person, they should have just said that.  Or forego defining "foreign person" altogether and use 'not a US person' (with grammar adjustments) where needed.

Maybe Shakespeare was right.

Offline M.E.T.

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2293
  • Liked: 2892
  • Likes Given: 504
Legalese aside, whatís the logic behind this law?

Does the process of granting asylum automatically clear a person of being a foreign spy? Seems an easy loophole to exploit for a determined and well resourced foreign adversary.

Offline whitelancer64

Legalese aside, whatís the logic behind this law?

Does the process of granting asylum automatically clear a person of being a foreign spy? Seems an easy loophole to exploit for a determined and well resourced foreign adversary.

Asylee and refugee claims are vetted by the US Dept. of State with a mandatory security screening, so I guess in their eyes, basically yeah.
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39247
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 25174
  • Likes Given: 12102
Then why not just give them permanent residence?
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline whitelancer64

Then why not just give them permanent residence?


The process can differ a bit depending on an individual's circumstances, but people can only seek asylum once they are already at a port of entry to the USA, and refugees need to apply for refugee status before they can enter the USA. There is lots of paperwork, an international background check, interviews, and other bureaucratic processes for all of this. Refugees go through an extensive security process, health screenings, and etc. before they can be accepted into the USA. Asylees go through a similar process, but they have to wait in the US while it happens. These processes can take up to a year or more.

Once an asylee / refugee is accepted into the USA as an asylee or refugee, they must wait one year to file for permanent residency. During this time they are legally permitted to live and work in the USA. Once they have filed for permanent residency, the process for obtaining it is pretty vigorous and includes a mandatory security screening through the State and other US government departments. This process usually takes years.

My understanding of all the above is that asylees or refugees who have filed for permanent residency can be hired for ITAR controlled jobs, but can't access ITAR controlled stuff until after they have obtained permanent residency.
« Last Edit: 08/31/2023 08:50 pm by whitelancer64 »
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Offline king1999

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 437
  • F-Niner Fan
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Liked: 302
  • Likes Given: 1280
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees and job applicants from employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. This includes discrimination based on pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

I don't see immigration status as a base for discrimination. A good lawyer may be able to argue in SpaceX's favor.

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39247
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 25174
  • Likes Given: 12102
Maybe, but I can see this being settled.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline Zed_Noir

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5412
  • Canada
  • Liked: 1785
  • Likes Given: 1287
Maybe, but I can see this being settled.
Maybe not. Musk and probably others in the aerospace industry would like some clarity on who can be hired and do ITAR work. The DoJ picked the wrong fight with someone who can afford to keep this in the courts for a very long time, IMO.

Offline whitelancer64

Maybe, but I can see this being settled.
Maybe not. Musk and probably others in the aerospace industry would like some clarity on who can be hired and do ITAR work. The DoJ picked the wrong fight with someone who can afford to keep this in the courts for a very long time, IMO.

I don't think it'll be in the courts for a very long time, one way or the other. It's in everyone's best interests to settle things quickly.
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Offline M.E.T.

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2293
  • Liked: 2892
  • Likes Given: 504
Better for Elon to invest his money in changing who runs the DoJ.

Online abaddon

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3010
  • Liked: 3808
  • Likes Given: 5137
Better for Elon to invest his money in changing who runs the DoJ.
I think this is verging on Space Policy and... yikes.

Or, you know, Elon could work with the system like he does with all the other government agencies and figure out a resolution that is acceptable to all parties.  Rather than, say, launching when the FAA is telling him he's not licensed to launch and having to ask for forgiveness later.

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39247
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 25174
  • Likes Given: 12102
Yeah, this thread could potentially belong in that section.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline edzieba

  • Virtual Realist
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5965
  • United Kingdom
  • Liked: 9111
  • Likes Given: 38
For reference, a case against AJR for the same issue (rejection of a US Person for an ITAR role due to immigration status) was settled in favour of the DoJ. The DoJ has also previously provided advisories on this issue in April 2023, in May 2016, in February 2013, etc.

::EDIT:: It's not just SpaceX and AJR who have run afoul of an overly broad interpretation of ITAR restrictions, and it even occurs outside of aerospace.
« Last Edit: 09/04/2023 11:50 am by edzieba »

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39247
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 25174
  • Likes Given: 12102
The 2023 advisory I think was written specifically with this case in mind. It is the DoJís opinion, not something Established in a court of law

The AJR case was about a permanent resident (greencard holder), which is far more cut and dried than this case. And it was settled, not decided by a court.
« Last Edit: 09/04/2023 12:48 pm by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline Pueo

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 146
  • Liked: 255
  • Likes Given: 202
Maybe someone who reads legalese can correct me, but by my reading of the ITAR definition, everyone who isn't both an "LPR" and a "protected person" is a "foreign person".

"ß 120.63 Foreign person.
Foreign person means any natural person who is not a lawful permanent resident as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(20) or who is not a protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3). ..."

That seems to disprove the claim that non-LPR can work ITAR.
When reading legalese you need to realize that "and", "or", and "not" do not mean "and", "or", and "not" at least in that order.   Also De Morgans laws are mere suggestions and don't apply much of the time.  The precedence and order of evaluation of operators are not well defined so they make it up as they go along, often with different results for apparently identical phrasing.

In the above lawyers will almost certainly read "or" as "and".

The immediately preceding section, 120.62, uses an identical structure to form almost the exact same sentence:

"U.S. person means a person who is a lawful permanent resident as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(20) or who is a protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3)."

The "or" in 120.62 is definitely a logical "or", but I don't understand why the "or" here would mean "or", while in the very next section in an identical construct it would mean "and".

If you consider the "or" in 120.63 to be the "logical or" as it is in 120.62 you end up with an apparent paradox where asylees and refugees are simultaneously considered both "U.S. persons" and "foreign persons" under the law.  Unfortunately laws a drafted in the English language not a programming language, and "or" has a number of possible uses in English based on context.  To me the obvious reading is that the use of "or" in 120.63 should be considered that of the "logical and".  It may even be that SpaceX's counsel decided that this is by far most probable reading of the statute but the potential downside of it being found otherwise and facing ITAR violations was so much larger than any employment law penalties that they were better off applying the less permissive reading until they could rely on a court precedent, preferably one that didn't involve them.
Could I interest you in some clean burning sub-cooled propalox and propalox accessories?
Forget drinking ethanol meant for rocket fuel, prop∆ne is the eutectic fuel mixture you can huff!

Offline Pueo

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 146
  • Liked: 255
  • Likes Given: 202
Legalese aside, whatís the logic behind this law?

Does the process of granting asylum automatically clear a person of being a foreign spy? Seems an easy loophole to exploit for a determined and well resourced foreign adversary.
Asylees and refugees face far more vetting than any U.S. citizen would.  Furthermore, as the entire point of the refugee and asylum statuses is that they're fleeing persecution in their home country they have far less reason to transfer information back to their country of origin than an average greencard holder.  For a foreign adversary's intelligence service it's way, way easier to cultivate a relationship with an US citizen and offer them a lot of money than it would ever be to try to shepherd a sleeper agent with the requisite technical background* through the kafka-esque nightmare that is the U.S. immigration system for refugees and asylum seekers.

*because while it make sense to make even your baristas a U.S. person for the sake of ITAR compliance, a foreign adversary isn't actually collecting much useful technical information without someone who's actually hands on with the tech.
Could I interest you in some clean burning sub-cooled propalox and propalox accessories?
Forget drinking ethanol meant for rocket fuel, prop∆ne is the eutectic fuel mixture you can huff!

Offline dondar

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 433
  • the Netherlands
  • Liked: 297
  • Likes Given: 256
As I am sure it was said already to SpaceX in 2021 they need to split SpaceX into security clearance (make it "everything") and the export free group and put information firewall in between. As far as current work force goes ~99% of them fit in the first group.


This lack of focus is f-ing everywhere.

ITAR circus is about security clearance "availability" and limitations of "sharing" info with other countries.

And then the next time some bureaucrat gets a wild hair and demands proof that the "uncleared" never had access to classified anything?? Putting the company i the position of guilty until proven innocent by way of proving a negative??
First thing first. US is not USSR. (less letters in the name make a big difference). What some bureaucrat thinks he can demands is irrelevant. What some federal judge can think is also not critical (See relevant Caltech case)

Boeing does it pretty good. Microsoft does it pretty good. The proper recipe is also very well known for centuries. (see bank business). "Firewalls" i,e. proper physical separation of relevant structures from the rest. There is no other proper process. (everything else ends as hard-disks in China or car trunks filled paper documentation in USSR).
ITAR recruitment  requirements is simplification/realization of two needs:
 1) general "vague" promise of US government not to disseminate double purpose rocket tech , 2)protection of critical knowledge from falling in the wrong hands/countries.

SpaceX needs to copy good bois. The perfect example was presented just few posts above. (see NASA listing posted by Robotbeat).
The most critical part is this one:
"Must be able to complete a U.S. government background investigation". Refugees in spite of what whatever federal judge can dream about most probably won't pass it.  Because beside other things it includes no travels in the "bad countries" and limited exposure to persuasion. (see families etc.). It is very different from identifying person identity and making sure he/she doesn't represent direct risk to the country.


SpaceX problem is also of course procedural one. I am sure many of readers of this forum had to deal with this or similar procedures and are aware about "wasted time" (in months) and money (see juridic costs) involved in the solving "paper work".

Offline dondar

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 433
  • the Netherlands
  • Liked: 297
  • Likes Given: 256
SpaceX employee #4 - Hans Koenigsmann - is a German citizen with a green card.
Permanent Residents (ie green card holders) are totally fine. Thatís not the question.
I  am pretty sure Koeningsmann had passed background clearance on his previous work. (it was much easier then....) Germany is no Russia. Basically everything depends on the level of cooperation of Law enforcement in the respective country and US. So you end with funny situation of much bigger chances for Bulgarian citizen than French. (not exaggeration).
Indeed SpaceX should wake up, don't hope that somebody will sort it for them, follow proper examples (see Cal-tech case) and move from there. National security requirements coincide with critical for them commercial secrecy needs.

Offline whitelancer64

Legalese aside, whatís the logic behind this law?

Does the process of granting asylum automatically clear a person of being a foreign spy? Seems an easy loophole to exploit for a determined and well resourced foreign adversary.
Asylees and refugees face far more vetting than any U.S. citizen would.  Furthermore, as the entire point of the refugee and asylum statuses is that they're fleeing persecution in their home country they have far less reason to transfer information back to their country of origin than an average greencard holder.  For a foreign adversary's intelligence service it's way, way easier to cultivate a relationship with an US citizen and offer them a lot of money than it would ever be to try to shepherd a sleeper agent with the requisite technical background* through the kafka-esque nightmare that is the U.S. immigration system for refugees and asylum seekers.

*because while it make sense to make even your baristas a U.S. person for the sake of ITAR compliance, a foreign adversary isn't actually collecting much useful technical information without someone who's actually hands on with the tech.

Then why not just give the refugees permanent residence? Why does the federal government insist on this idiocy?

After being admitted to the US, there is a one year waiting period before they can apply for permanent residency, during which DHS can reopen the case and attempt to terminate asylum / refugee status and seek their removal from the US.

This can happen if the nation they fled is no longer a danger to them, if they have committed a serious crime, if their claim of refugee or asylum status is fraudulent, if they have sought residence in another country, if they pose a security threat to the US, if there is an agreement to relocate them to another safe country, if they have voluntarily left the US, returned to their home country, or received nationality with another country.

The above cases are fairly rare, but there are instances of them happening.
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Offline Barley

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1002
  • Liked: 669
  • Likes Given: 366
Then why not just give the refugees permanent residence? Why does the federal government insist on this idiocy?

Immigration, asylum, residency and non-discrimination are not intended for the same purposes as ITAR.  There is plenty of idiocy to go around, but it will only increase if you let the ITAR tail wag the immigration dog.

The vast majority of American citizens do not have security clearances, it's a pretty dystopian world where you have to have a security clearance to be a citizen.  Leaving aside that it should not be binary trusted/not trusted, as in "I'd trust him with my life, but I won't trust him with my wife."

Offline Starmang10

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 176
  • Liked: 74
  • Likes Given: 0
the investigation is just uneccessary ngl
hi! I am a 13 year old neurodivergent individual, although I can understand most things adults can too. I  have been interested in space since I was 5. Although I still have a lot to learn, I try my hardest to understand others, although sometimes I might not, so please correct me if I do not listen to others. thanks!

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39247
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 25174
  • Likes Given: 12102
Then why not just give the refugees permanent residence? Why does the federal government insist on this idiocy?

Immigration, asylum, residency and non-discrimination are not intended for the same purposes as ITAR.  There is plenty of idiocy to go around, but it will only increase if you let the ITAR tail wag the immigration dog.

The vast majority of American citizens do not have security clearances, it's a pretty dystopian world where you have to have a security clearance to be a citizen.  Leaving aside that it should not be binary trusted/not trusted, as in "I'd trust him with my life, but I won't trust him with my wife."
I just donít see why we donít give asylees and refugees permanent residence. If they can be trusted with ITAR, they can be given permanent residence. It just lays bare the stupidity of the federal immigration system and the hoops it makes people jump through. It almost seems like the cruelty of the system is intentional.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline Barley

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1002
  • Liked: 669
  • Likes Given: 366
I just donít see why we donít give asylees and refugees permanent residence. If they can be trusted with ITAR, they can be given permanent residence. It just lays bare the stupidity of the federal immigration system and the hoops it makes people jump through. It almost seems like the cruelty of the system is intentional.
We do give many refugees permanent residence.  It takes a while.  Most refugees (like most citizens) are not trusted with ITAR.  An overwhelming majority have no desire to be cleared for ITAR and a good many cannot be cleared for ITAR.

There is probably no better way to inject more idiocy and intentional cruelty into the refugee system than redesigning it so only people who can be cleared for ITAR can be cleared for asylum.  If you want to clean up stupidity, clean it up; Don't expand it.

Offline envy887

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8133
  • Liked: 6781
  • Likes Given: 2961
I just donít see why we donít give asylees and refugees permanent residence. If they can be trusted with ITAR, they can be given permanent residence. It just lays bare the stupidity of the federal immigration system and the hoops it makes people jump through. It almost seems like the cruelty of the system is intentional.
We do give many refugees permanent residence.  It takes a while.  Most refugees (like most citizens) are not trusted with ITAR.  An overwhelming majority have no desire to be cleared for ITAR and a good many cannot be cleared for ITAR.

There is probably no better way to inject more idiocy and intentional cruelty into the refugee system than redesigning it so only people who can be cleared for ITAR can be cleared for asylum.  If you want to clean up stupidity, clean it up; Don't expand it.

Which refugees wouldn't be able to be "cleared for ITAR"? I thought the whole point of this suit was that ITAR treats all refugees as US persons.

Offline Barley

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1002
  • Liked: 669
  • Likes Given: 366
I just donít see why we donít give asylees and refugees permanent residence. If they can be trusted with ITAR, they can be given permanent residence. It just lays bare the stupidity of the federal immigration system and the hoops it makes people jump through. It almost seems like the cruelty of the system is intentional.
We do give many refugees permanent residence.  It takes a while.  Most refugees (like most citizens) are not trusted with ITAR.  An overwhelming majority have no desire to be cleared for ITAR and a good many cannot be cleared for ITAR.

There is probably no better way to inject more idiocy and intentional cruelty into the refugee system than redesigning it so only people who can be cleared for ITAR can be cleared for asylum.  If you want to clean up stupidity, clean it up; Don't expand it.

Which refugees wouldn't be able to be "cleared for ITAR"? I thought the whole point of this suit was that ITAR treats all refugees as US persons.
Refugees who gamble, did drugs, have criminal records (possibly in countries where thought is a crime), sleep with people who are not their spouses in some notorious way.  Or can't prove they haven't done those things.  People whose past is not fully documented (because refugee) or have family or friends in countries where they could be considered hostages.  People who just want to be left alone and not mess with a national security bureaucracy more than they have to.

"US person" is a minimum for clearance, not the entire thing.  I don't want to invert that so that the only people who can get refugee status are people you are willing to trust with national security secrets.  There are people who deserve asylum who do not even want permanent residence. 

In particular you said "If they can be trusted with ITAR, they can be given permanent residence."  I don't object to that but it does not support your position.  You're basically inverting it "If they can be given permanent residence they can be trusted with ITAR" which leads to the logically equivalent but much darker "If they cannot be trusted with ITAR they cannot be given permanent residence."



Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39247
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 25174
  • Likes Given: 12102
You seem to be mixing up requirements for export control with requirements for, like, classified security clearance. Not really the same thing.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline DulcelabJenni

  • Member
  • Posts: 9
  • Georgia
  • Liked: 2
  • Likes Given: 10
How would SpaceX be able to vet the background of a non-citizen? Also, how can the government really vet a non-citizens background? I'm sure there is a long standing process for the government to do so but is it reasonable to expect SpaceX or any organization or company to do the governments work during the pre-hiring process? Let's just say SpaceX does and then there are issues with spying and/or illegal actions in the company, will SpaceX be liable or the government?

Offline darkenfast

  • Member
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1531
  • Liked: 1824
  • Likes Given: 8654
I'm sure the People's Republic of China is watching this case with interest. They probably already know who they'd like to see apply and what sort of leverage they can use involving relatives of those applicants.
Writer of Book and Lyrics for musicals "SCAR", "Cinderella!", and "Aladdin!". Retired Naval Security Group. "I think SCAR is a winner. Great score, [and] the writing is up there with the very best!"
-- Phil Henderson, Composer of the West End musical "The Far Pavilions".

Offline DulcelabJenni

  • Member
  • Posts: 9
  • Georgia
  • Liked: 2
  • Likes Given: 10
So true. Also, SpaceX secrets. Insider info.

Offline mpusch

  • Member
  • Posts: 35
  • Western NY
  • Liked: 72
  • Likes Given: 210
I'd imagine this isn't apples to apples but still seems relevant given the current environment.

https://www.wgrz.com/article/money/business/moogs-facility-security-clearance-invalidated-over-new-ceos-lack-of-us-citizenship-business/71-0537309c-7b6f-4e97-916f-a826cf510694

Quote
EAST AURORA, N.Y. ó Moog Inc. (NYSE: MOG.A and MOG.B) was notified Friday by a federal agency that its facility security clearance had been invalidated because its new CEO, Pat Roche, is not a U.S. citizen.

Offline DulcelabJenni

  • Member
  • Posts: 9
  • Georgia
  • Liked: 2
  • Likes Given: 10
I'd imagine this isn't apples to apples but still seems relevant given the current environment.

https://www.wgrz.com/article/money/business/moogs-facility-security-clearance-invalidated-over-new-ceos-lack-of-us-citizenship-business/71-0537309c-7b6f-4e97-916f-a826cf510694

Quote
EAST AURORA, N.Y. ó Moog Inc. (NYSE: MOG.A and MOG.B) was notified Friday by a federal agency that its facility security clearance had been invalidated because its new CEO, Pat Roche, is not a U.S. citizen.

Hmmm, seems contradictory. Is SpaceX being targeted? Really, Is Elon? My gut leans in this direction. Just my opinion though and we all form them.  :)  I'm not anti-government regulation but less is sometimes more. Again, my humble opinion.

Offline Chris Bergin

This thread is awful and Robobeat is not a moderator or any representative of this site (so reacting with "I hate NSF now cause I don't like that user" is also stupid). But this is a dire thread, so I'm killing it.
« Last Edit: 09/11/2023 06:09 pm by Chris Bergin »
Support NSF via L2 -- Help improve NSF -- Site Rules/Feedback/Updates
**Not a L2 member? Whitelist this forum in your adblocker to support the site and ensure full functionality.**

Tags:
 

Advertisement NovaTech
Advertisement Northrop Grumman
Advertisement
Advertisement Margaritaville Beach Resort South Padre Island
Advertisement Brady Kenniston
Advertisement NextSpaceflight
Advertisement Nathan Barker Photography
1