Industry Continues Push for Major Overhaul of Proposed Rule on the Export of Cybersecurity Items

On January 12, 2016 the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee's IT Subcommittee and the Homeland Security Committee's Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies Subcommittee held a joint hearing "Wassenaar: Cybersecurity & Export Control".  The purpose of the hearing was to allow both government and industry witnesses to address the impact of the Wassenaar Arrangement which was recently amended to propose export controls for cybersecurity products. The implementation of this agreement would have significant influence on the way businesses and governments handle cyber tools while protecting consumer information.

Eight witnesses from U.S. Government agencies and industry provided testimony before House lawmakers and all agreed that significant changes must be made to the proposed rule published in May 2015.  All industry representatives and several House Members recommended that U.S. Government officials should go back to Wassenaar and propose the agreement be renegotiated. 

CompTIA and 263 other entities provided comments on the proposed rule which were overwhelmingly negative with detrimental impacts for Government and industry to support legitimate cybersecurity efforts.  Kevin Wolf, Assistant Secretary for Export Administration, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) stated at the hearing that BIS "will continue to seek input from those with expertise and equities in cyber security in both the U.S. government and the private sector before deciding in conjunction with its interagency partners what the next step should be." 

Many CompTIA members have recently participated in presentations at BIS technical advisory committee meetings addressing specific examples on the impacts of the proposed rule.  CompTIA has also met with Eric L. Hirschhorn, Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security and other senior U.S. Government officials on this issue.  For more information contact Ken Montgomery, Vice President, International Trade Regulation & Compliance, kmontgomery@comptia.org