Export Control Policy: Strong Regulations a National Security Imperative
As President Obama said in a conference of exporters earlier this month, we must “concentrate our efforts on enforcing controls on the export of our most critical technologies, making America safer while enhancing the competitiveness of key American industries.” We need to make it “quicker and easier for our businesses to compete while meeting our national security requirements.”
While commercial interests cannot be ignored when promulgating export policy, National Security has to be the top priority. Strong regulations are needed to keep our most useful technology out of the terrorists’ hands. The U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security has outlined the following reasons why the current law of encryption export control should be vigorously enforced in order to protect our national security.
Encryption items are used to maintain the secrecy of information. The export of encryption items must be regulated so that encryption is not used by persons abroad to conceal hostile and criminal activities that might bring harm to the United States.
Encryption and cryptographic products can be used to conceal the communications of terrorists and other anti-U.S. interests.
Export controls on encryption items achieve the government’s intended foreign policy purpose of restricting the flow of sensitive items outside the United States.
Encryption export controls are accepted in the international community. Other countries have not had adverse reactions and recognize the need to control certain products for reasons of national security.
Continued implementation of the encryption regulations will allow U.S. companies to maintain a leadership position in the global market for encryption products.
Though detection of some encryption transaction is difficult, the United States has the ability to enforce these controls effectively.
Accordingly, export controls on encryption technology remain a necessary tool to protect U.S. national security.
President Barack Obama, Remarks by the President at the Export-Import Bank’s Annual Conference (March 11, 2010) available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-export-import-banks-annual-conference
U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security, 2010 Report on Foreign Policy-Based Export Controls (January 21, 2010) available at http://www.bis.doc.gov/news/2010/2010_%20fpreport.pdf