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GAO Finds US Military's Critical Technologies List Outdated, Useless 71

Posted by timothy
from the things-belonging-to-the-emperor dept.
chicksdaddy writes "The U.S. Department of Defense has stopped updating its main reference list of vital defense technologies that are banned from export, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), The Security Ledger reports. The Militarily Critical Technologies List (MCTL) is used to identify technologies that are critical to national defense and that require extra protection — including bans on exports and the application of anti-tamper technology. GAO warned six years ago that the Departments of State and Commerce, which are supposed to use the list, found it too broad and outdated to be of much use. The latest report (GAO 13-157) finds that the situation has worsened: budget cuts forced the DOD to largely stop updating and grooming the list in 2011. Sections on emerging technologies are outdated, while other sections haven't been updated since 1999. Without the list to rely on, the DOD has turned to a hodgepodge of other lists, while officials in the Departments of State and Commerce who are responsible for making decisions about whether to allow a particular technology to be exported have turned to ad-hoc networks of subject experts. Other agencies are looking into developing their own MCTL equivalents, potentially wasting government resources duplicating work that has already been done, GAO found."
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GAO Finds US Military's Critical Technologies List Outdated, Useless

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  • by ShanghaiBill (739463) * on Friday January 25, 2013 @11:25PM (#42698605)

    Or ban the export of jobs...

    That is better than requiring the export of jobs, which is what the current policy does in practice. If you want to be able to sell a technology world-wide, then you need to do your R&D outside of America. If you do it inside, you will subject to export restrictions while your non-American competitors cleanup.

    In the 1990s, I worked for a company that included cryptography in our products. Since it was illegal to export anything developed in the USA, we decided to do all our cryptography development in Shanghai, China. But it turned out it was difficult to manage a split team, and consolidating in the USA was impossible. So we laid of all our American engineers that were unwilling to move to Shanghai. I moved there, and it was a fantastic experience. I learned to speak Mandarin, and even ended up starting a family there. But from a policy perspective, it was completely insane. What was more frustrating was that it seemed to be universally recognized as stupid policy, but still persisted for years.

Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig. -- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough for Love"

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