U.S. Lists Technology Export Curbs

By Richard Halloran
The New York Times

November 16, 1984

Washington -- November 15, 1984 -- The Defense Department made public today a previously secret list of technologies regarded as militarily critical that may not be exported to the Soviet Union, its allies or nations with the potential for acquiring nuclear weapons.

Publication of the list, which has been revised annually since it was first drawn up in 1980, is part of the Administration's widening effort to slow or stop the flow of what it considers to be militarily useful technology to the Soviet Union and its allies.

The list includes know-how - such as for computers, software and telecommunications - and two broad categories, ''keystone equipment'' and ''keystone materials,'' that appeared to apply to a wide range of products.

'Unjustified Fears'

A memorandum accompanying the list said that the previous secrecy ''not only hindered the utility and application of the Militarily Critical Technologies List but also raised unjustified fears in the academic world and the public at large about the scope of the list.''

The memorandum also said the list ''will aid voluntary efforts to restrict the flow of critical technology'' to the Soviet bloc.

The Defense Department has recently published a directive forbidding the release of previously available information about militarily critical technologies if the department considered that information to be useful to military forces of the Soviet Union.

The first and largest part of the list consists of 20 categories of know-how, including information systems, directed energy systems, semiconductors, microwave, sensor and undersea system technology.

Omitted from the list published today but still in the prohibited category was technology relating to cryptographic systems and nuclear power. Similarly omitted for security reasons were the military rationale for placing any item on the list.

Artificial Intelligence

Among the specific items in the 20 categories were artificial intelligence technology and technologies relating to particle beams and the design of aircraft, ships, submarines and spacecraft.

The second part consists of metal working, chemical, petroleum, electrical and electronic, industrial, transport and precision machinery, equipment and instruments that could be used to produce advanced military weapons.

Specific examples would be filter manufacturing and inspection equipment, extrusion equipment for inertial separators and specialized sheet metal forming machinery.

A third category, keystone materials, includes boron hydrides, basic copper sylicate, high-temperature polymers, materials used in optical and X-ray sensors and special paints and coatings for satellite thermal control.

In the fourth category are technical data, engineering analyses, specifications and designs that might accompany an otherwise permitted export. The reason for including that sophisticated know-how, the Pentagon said, was that restricted technology listed in the first part ''can be derived through reverse engineering, disassembly, analysis or use'' of other technical descriptions.

Copyright 1984 The New York Times Company