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GAO Finds US Military's Critical Technologies List Outdated, Useless 71

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six years ago that the Departments of State and Commerce, which are supposed to use the list, found it too broad and outdated to be of much use.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 Sections on emerging technologies are outdated, while other sections haven't been updated since 1999.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GAO Finds US Military's Critical Technologies List Outdated, Useless

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  • We all know why... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25, 2013 @11:39PM (#42698429)

    Because if there was a definitive list, the applications of those technologies would become obvious as well as what level of sophistication is deemed dangerous. For example, if we banned certain wide-band radio transmitters, on the grounds that they can be used for neural interfaces to manipulate humans, then we are telling people what they need to buy.

    So, its really sort of a potential shopping list for the enemy.

  • by NoNonAlphaCharsHere ( 2201864 ) on Friday January 25, 2013 @11:55PM (#42698503)
    I remember, in the 80's, Xenix was "export restricted", especially libc.a if it had "crypt.o" in it - like the algorithm hadn't been published many years prior to that. Anybody remember the big Toshiba machine-tool controller foorah that supposedly allowed the Soviets make quieter submarine propellers?

    Does anybody think that our enemies-du-jour (and our friends, too) aren't reading all our science journals and buying samples of all manner of products for reverse engineering? Or for that matter, does anybody really think that we aren't doing the exact same thing, all over the world?

    Lists like these are like "the seven words you can't say on television" - just a dare for somebody to do it.

Each new user of a new system uncovers a new class of bugs. -- Kernighan