Two graduate students stood silently beside a lectern, listening as their professor presented their work to a conference. Usually, the students would want the glory. And they had, just a couple of days previously. But their families talked them out of it. A few weeks earlier, the Stanford researchers had received an unsettling letter from a shadowy US government agency. If they publicly discussed their findings, the letter said, it would be deemed legally equivalent to exporting nuclear arms to a hostile foreign power. Stanford’s lawyer said he thought they could defend any case by citing the First Amendment’s protection of free speech. But the university could cover legal costs only for professors. So the students were persuaded to keep schtum.
Source: BBC Technology News
Date: May 25th, 2017
1) Why does it make sense for the U.S. government to try and restrict the dissemination of sensitive technology?
2) Why is it almost impossible to stop the dissemination of sensitive technology when it is software that can be distributed over the internet?