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Prepare a Laptop for International Travel
Because UC is a global organization, employees frequently travel domestically and abroad. UCOP has created the UCGO site at https://www.ucgo.org/ to (1) help facilitate this travel and (2) provide health and safety guidance and other critical resources while employees are traveling
The minimum security standards still apply when traveling overseas to a foreign nation: All laptops carrying confidential information, including personal health information (PHI), must be encrypted before the start of any travel, whether for business or pleasure.
Information security guidelines
The core information security advice for UCSF personnel traveling is: Ensure the laptop is encrypted. Dell Data Protection Encryption (DDPE) for Windows and Jamf Pro for Macs are our standard encryption solution and is free to all UCSF personnel: (https://software.ucsf.edu).
Make a backup of your data before you leave the country, and leave that backup in the U.S. This is often overlooked but is vital for peace of mind.
Be aware of your surroundings, and do not leave a laptop unattended. Travelers are often targeted. We have had several cases where faculty laptops have been stolen while the owners were away on business.
Review the UCSF Risk Management Travel Safety site, https://rmis.ucsf.edu/, for good information about traveling abroad and services available.
Foreign travel licensing exception
Academic and scientific staff will not need a license to take their laptops or other internet-connected electronic devices with them overseas as long as all of the following conditions are met (https://compliance.ucsf.edu/export-control):
- The laptop is used for activities related to your university work of teaching and research.
- The laptop must remain in your physical possession and may not be lent to or used by foreign persons.
- Encryption commodities and software must be preloaded on the laptop or device.
However, not all encryption software may be temporarily exported. If you have high-powered or unusual encryption software that you use in your work, contact [email protected] to make sure that such encryption software is eligible for the temporary/tools of trade exception.
The laptop may (1) accompany you or (2) be shipped no more than one month in advance of your departure. It must be returned as soon as possible, but no later than one year after export.
This exception to a license requirement may not be used for travel to Cuba or Sudan.
This exception can also cover other types of equipment used to support University-sponsored research or educational activities conducted abroad and is not limited to laptops.
If you are traveling abroad to conduct research and need equipment shipped from the U.S. to the foreign country, consult with your campus office responsible for export compliance. The exception may extend to all the equipment and supplies that will be used in the research.
For general export control questions, contact [email protected]