The 9th Circuit recently upheld the constitutionality of the Arms Export Control Act (“AECA”), the statutory authority underlying ITAR. Chi Mak was convicted of conspiring to violate the export control laws and attempting to export a defense article to the People’s Republic of China in violation of the AECA. Mak’s brother and sister-in-law were arrested at Los Angeles International Airport while en route to Hong Kong. U.S. Government officials seized a CD from their luggage that contained export-controlled naval technology, some of which was authored by Mak. Mak appealed the convictions under various constitutional claims, including the First Amendment. The three judge panel ruled against Mak on each of his claims. Mak’s First Amendment claim was that the technical data he attempted to export was protected speech. The court said the AECA and its implementing regulations are content neutral and thus may regulated speech provided that they advance important government interests, which the court found were present in the instant case. The complete decision is available at: