U.S. government seeks comment on controlling foundational technology

Semiconductor manufacturing equipment and associated software tools, lasers, sensors, and underwater systems are all mentioned as foundational technologies with potential for military applications.
31 August 2020

On 27 August 2020, The Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) released an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking for foundational technologies in the Federal Register requesting comments from the public.

BIS is looking for feedback regarding technology, commodities, or software “essential to the national security.” A specific example given is items “being utilized or required for innovation in developing conventional weapons, enabling foreign intelligence collection activities, or weapons of mass destruction applications.” The advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) places a particular focus on technology controls for only anti-terrorism (AT) reasons and EAR99 items. These are both very low levels of control that either rarely needs or do not need a license in order to export.

This ANPRM on Foundational Technology comes after the December 2018 release of the ANPRM on Emerging Technology. Both of these efforts to review and control foundational and emerging technology are mandated via a law passed on 13 August 2018.

SPIE encourages its members and constituents to provide feedback either directly via the federal register notice, or email comments to SPIE Government Affairs Director, Jennifer O'Bryan who is gathering feedback from the community.

The comment period for the ANPRM on Foundational Technology is open until 26 October 2020.

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