The State Department and Commerce Department control things of military value or important to national security or of potential use in terrorism or disrupting regional stability (e.g., missile or nuclear capability or chemical or biological weapons). They also control equipment and materials used to construct these controlled items as well as the software/information used to develop/produce/use controlled items.
The Commerce Department also restricts export of items to designated entities and individuals, or for purposes such as weapon or missile development. The Treasury Department controls the assets of sanctioned countries and designated individuals, as well as interactions with those parties.
Export Controls do not regulate the following:
Classes or research that are unrelated to things would be outside the scope of the State and Commerce export controls — such as literature, linguistics, philosophy, economics, history, languages, mathematics, music, political science. However, people working in such areas could be using tools that would be export controlled (such as computers). The Treasury embargo/sanctions programs apply broadly to interactions with embargoed/sanctioned countries and designated individuals.
Publicly available information is excluded from the export controls.
Education is excluded from the export controls.
Fundamental research is excluded from the export controls.
Activity that qualifies for these exclusions can be consistent with academic principles of open access.