Two weeks ago, we read news that two F5-E jet fighter engines belonging to the Malaysian air force were discovered to be missing. Reports suggested the engines may have been sold to various parties before ending up in an unnamed Middle Eastern country that is currently under U.S. sanctions.
Keeping out of discussion on the military and political issues, in the IT realm, the movement of technology around the world is subject to laws.
Many countries have export control laws, aside from general trade embargos. The simple reason is that they would not want their technologies to fall into the hands of parties that may use them for unfriendly purposes. Of course, as this could also be a political measure, who is friendly and who is not may be very much the flavor of the day.
The United States, as a technology leader, has a system that prohibits the export of technology by a classification system. What is prohibited today because it represents the latest advances in technology, may not be restricted tomorrow. For example, in the late nineties, a machine that can perform 2,000 million theoretical operations per second (MTOPS) was considered high powered--a Pentium III 450Mhz would exceed 2 million MTOPS, and for some time, it was feared that Apple's G4 would similarly be banned.
Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed and technology export is now simpler. Some vestiges still remain though--you will read in any U.S. end-user license that the license is subject to U.S. export control restrictions. Just in case.