April 10, 2013
Just before the annual SC conference last year, Russian HPC vendor, T-Platforms proudly delivered the first supercomputer from the nation on the steps of the University of New York at Stony Brook. Not long before that, it completed a noteworthy installation for PRACE and worked on complex software challenges via a partnership with the Juelich Supercomputer Center.
From the outside, the company appears to have done bang-up business in 2012, but they’ve gone into radio silence mode since the end of that stellar year, causing some to wonder at the source of the freeze.
Well, there’s an answer to why that chill descended that’s finally emerged. A document from the United States Department of Commerce hit public record, stating that as of March 8, 2013, all American doors are sealed against T-Platform’s business.
We’ve spent the better part of this week (we first got wind of this over the past weekend) trying to pin down sources to speak with, including folks at T-Platforms (no answer), the Department of Commerce (they just refer us back to the document), and sources who have worked for T-Platforms in the past (no comment). While this is just speculation, the folks from T-Platforms’ history seem more than just annoyed at the questions and to call them evasive would be an understatement.
According to the Department of Commerce, T-Platforms is now a named entity that has been listed because they have been associated with “activities that could result in an increased risk of the diversion of exported, reexported, or transferred (in-country) items to weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs.”
The agency further explained…
The ERC has reasonable cause to believe that the one person being listed under three separate entries, T -Platforms, a company headquartered in Russia, has been listed as the ultimate consignee on multiple automated export system (AES) records filed for the export of dual-use items controlled for national security reasons but shipped without the required licenses. Further, the ERC has reason to believe that T-Platforms is associated with military procurement activities, including the development of computer systems for military end-users and the production of computers for nuclear research. T-Platforms has locations in Germany and Taiwan that are engaged in the same types of activities of concern. Based on T-Platforms' activities, including those of its locations in Germany and Taiwan, the ERC determined that it is engaged in activities contrary to U.S. national security and foreign policy interests and poses a high risk of involvement in violations of the EAR.
The full document can be found here: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-03-08/html/2013-05387.htm
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