into a unified whole. Thus, stovepipes still exist that hamper DHS components from export control best practices.

The third addresses the need to reform the export control interagency process in ways that enable DHS to work through the U.S. export control process to cooperate with its foreign counterparts. The anachronisms of the current system were identified in a 2009 report of the National Research Council entitled Beyond “Fortress America”: National Security Controls on Science and Technology in a Globalized World. Among the central findings of the report was the following:

Many of the federal government’s regulations governing what information, components, and products can be delivered to or shared with citizens of other countries are harming the nation’s security … this system was designed for a world that no longer exists, and it needs to be replaced.2

Indeed, it is not only that certain aspects of export control laws and regulations are anachronistic, it is also that the export control interagency process is out of step. It does not yet fully take into account the existence of DHS itself, given that most current export control regulations were formulated before the Department of Homeland Security existed, and DHS does not yet have a full voice in the export control policy process. The export control reform process that has been under way since August 2009 is promoting several changes to modernize the system, but these efforts primarily affect the three agencies that have historically managed the process: Commerce, State, and Defense.

The committee developed findings and associated recommendations that are listed below and are discussed in detail in the following report.

Finding I

The Department of Homeland Security’s vital statutory missions require extensive international cooperation to counter present and anticipated terrorist threats, including the following:

1. Identification, development, and acquisition of foreign technology.

2. Collaboration with foreign governments and private entities.

3. Development and deployment of U.S. technology overseas.

The implementation of U.S. export control laws and regulations and related administrative processes currently prevent DHS from accomplishing some of these missions effectively and, in some cases, deny the United States access to the best technology to protect its citizens.


2 Committee on Science, Security, and Prosperity; Committee on Scientific Communication and National Security; National Research Council. 2009. Beyond “Fortress America”: National Security Controls on Science and Technology in a Globalized World, p. 13. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

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