If a WCU faculty member or administrator is traveling overseas and wants to take a laptop along, according to federal export control laws, certain goods deemed “sensitive” or “controlled” are restricted from being taken abroad. A WCU laptop falls under the category of a “controlled” good because of the encryption technology employed in the Computrace (Lojack for laptops) software that WCU and many other institutions in the UNC system use to protect laptops from theft.
If a laptop with this encryption device were to fall in the hands of a terrorist or individual who carries out a plot to harm the United States, the owner of the computer would be taken to court, fined up to $1,000,000, or jailed for up to 10 years. In this instance, the State of North Carolina would not have an obligation to legally defend the faculty member’s actions.
Unless the faculty member/administrator wants to sleep, eat, shower with the laptop (even your own personal laptop), the office of International Programs and Services and WCU strongly recommend that you:
- Seriously reconsider whether you need a laptop overseas (there are internet cafes or university computers that you may be able to use while doing business overseas)
- Sign out and take one of the travel friendly laptops prepared by IT Services that does not have the encryption device.
- Two weeks before pick-up, faculty issues an email request to Betty Dishman at firstname.lastname@example.org for a laptop to IPS with date of pick-up and return.
- Kay Moore confirms receipt of request and advises faculty where laptop may be picked up.
- IPS checks out laptop and goes over bag contents with faculty member, including instructions for use..
- Faculty member signs and dates check-out sheet.
- Faculty member returns laptop to IPS on date specified.
- IPS does quick inventory check with traveler to insure that everything is in the bag and signs in the laptop.