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John Markoff writes in today’s New York Times about Chinese cryptographers who wanted to attend the CRYPTO 2005 conference, going on right now in Santa Barbara CA, and who were unable to attend because they weren’t granted visas in time.

American academia needs contact with foreigners, especially these from China, to keep our cryptographic research the best in the world. When visas are routinely denied or delayed — as is now frequently the case — it hurts us more than the rest of the world.

Universities are now having problems also getting top students from overseas. They can’t get visas either. And so they are going elsewhere.

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