Your Job, National Security & Outsourcing

Your Job, National Security & Outsourcing


What does your job have to do with national security?

If your job is related to innovation, intellectual property, high technology, improvements in processes for manufacturing, services, agriculture, etc., then it is important for national security.

A recent study was performed on the greatest threats to the national security of the United States of America. The conclusion was that the greatest theat was not from Islamic Terrorists, not from the "Axis of Evil" or other groups or ideologies we've been told repeatedly in recent years. The conclusion was that the greatest threat to our national security was the loss of intellectual property and trade secrets through industrial espionage and other means.

The top countries cited as threats in the area of industrial espionage are not the countries where terrorists famously come from. They tend to be our trading partners, some of them our military allies via the U.N. or other means. Nasa's web site regarding industrial espionage as economic threat sites the following: "The American Society of Industrial Security conducts a periodic survey of economic and industrial espionage incidents and losses experienced by U.S. corporations. In the survey completed in January 1998, 66 percent of respondents viewed domestic U.S. competitors as key threats to their data. Foreign countries perceived as key threats were China (41%), Japan (36%), France (30%), United Kingdom (27%), Canada (25%), Mexico (20%), Russia (15%), Germany (12%), South Korea (10%), and Israel (10%)." Though this site focuses on military related technology, economic impact of industrial espionage is becoming a more significant component of the overall national security threat.

Accordingly, there are laws and enforcement agencies in the US to prevent the valuable IP from falling in the hands of competition abroad. These laws are not well known by the general public, and even not well known to employess of US companies and organizations that are involved in exportation of high tech products and related services, consulting, etc. Here are links to the US government entities responsible for enforcement:

Loop Hole Bleeding Intellectual Property

The export laws restrict technology transfer. This includes sending high tech products, materials and emails of technical documents to customers, etc. to other countries, such as China. However, they currently do not restrict emailing to a US operated facility in China, where an employee there could easily transfer the same technology to China via leaving the company, etc.

Please suggest to your congressman & senators to gradually, incrementally, close this loop hole by gradually reduce and finally remove exceptions for US operated facilities that, for example, have perminent Chinese citizens as employees recieving these sensitive documents, working on sensitive projects with access to technologies being developed, etc. The suggestion of making a gradual, incremental transition to close the loop hole is because otherwise there certainly will be a backlash from most of the major corporations that are currently outsourcing high tech jobs. Sudden closure of the loop hole would be devastating to them and our own economy. Gradual change allows for all to adapt accordingly. The balance of the bleeding of our technological IP vs the disruption of weening our major high technology companies from outsourcing in a manner that causes this bleeding.

As an example of an incremental change, a phase in of a new restriction that disallows exposure of sensitive information to any permanent local citizen of an otherwise blacklisted country. This would be a good start. Certain lower tech aspects of manufacturing, engineering design, etc., such as methods already common practice in the country in question, would be exempt. Information regarding improvements to these common practices would be considered sensitive IP and would be restricted from employees of US run companies and operations. Meanwhile, the bleeding continues and the threat to national security grows: outsourcing of high tech manufacturing and design continues, benefiting countries such as Communist China, directly at odds with the national security efforts of EAR.

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