USC Office of Compliance

Exclusions from Export Regulations

Generally speaking, the following items and categories of information do not require an export license:
Fundamental research:  Fundamental research is defined to mean “basic and applied research” in science and engineering where the resulting information is ordinarily shared broadly within the scientific community.
Published (publicly available) Information and Software: Information that is published and is generally accessible to the public through publication in books or periodicals available in a public library or in bookstores, or information that is presented at a conference, meeting, seminar, trade show or other open gathering is considered to be in the public domain. An open gathering is one in which members of the general public are eligible to attend and attendees are permitted to take notes.
Published Educational Information:  Most of the course material taught in U.S. universities that is published in the course catalog and open to the public is considered public and not subject to the export control regulations.
Laptops and other mobile devices:  You can bring your laptop, as long as it does not contain any export-controlled documents or non-commercial, special purpose encryption software.  If the laptop contains only the commercial encryption software that is standard for the computer, then you do not have an export controls issue (unless traveling to an OFAC-sanctioned country).  If you have something other than standard commercial encryption software on your laptop or you are traveling to an OFAC-sanctioned country, do not bring it with you before consulting with Office of Compliance.