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Defense bill could stifle computer trade
Last modified: July 1, 2004, 4:00 AM PDT
By Robert Lemos Staff Writer, CNET News.com
In a move that has re-energized the debate over export controls on high-performance computers, the latest version of a defense-spending bill would require companies to seek licenses to export even underpowered desktop computers.
Today, computer sellers are required to get a license to export any computer with performance equal to or greater than a system with 32 Intel Itanium processors. The current version of the defense authorization act would lower that limit to systems deemed "militarily critical" by the Department of Defense. That level is currently set to the equivalent of a computer using a Pentium 3 processor running at 650MHz, state of the art in 1999 but considered feeble today.