date icon January 10, 2019 category icon Press Releases

Internet Sector Calls For “A Measured And Deliberate Approach” To BIS Export Controls

Berroya: “Fostering the development of emerging technologies and enabling access to information help ensure the competitiveness of our economy and play a key role in advancing U.S. foreign policy and national security interests. ”

Washington, DC – Internet Association today filed comments with the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) at the U.S. Department of Commerce on their proposed advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) “Review of Controls for Certain Emerging Technologies.”

IA’s comments emphasize that the internet sector supports the government’s goal of protecting U.S. national security. However, any new rule should take a measured approach to avoid imposing overly broad restrictions that will harm America’s tech sector without improving national security. Emerging technologies benefit all sectors of the American economy, and an overly restrictive new rule would disproportionately impact the competitiveness of smaller American companies that lack the resources required to navigate it.

“Fostering the development of emerging technologies and enabling access to information help ensure the competitiveness of our economy and play a key role in advancing U.S. foreign policy and national security interests,” said Jon Berroya, Internet Association Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “The internet industry looks forward to working with Commerce as part of a deliberative rulemaking process to protect U.S. national security while also fostering the continued success of America’s tech sector.”

From the filing:

  • IA supports the goals of the ANPRM, but urges the government to avoid “unduly broad restrictions [that] will harm technological development in the U.S. and will be counterproductive to U.S national security.”
    • “Internet Association supports the goal of the ANPRM, which is to protect U.S. national security. We also agree that there are significant challenges involved in identifying controls for “emerging technologies.” Notwithstanding these challenges, we urge the U.S. government to take a measured and deliberate approach to this rulemaking. Unduly broad restrictions will harm technological development in the U.S. and will be counterproductive to U.S national security.”
  • Smaller companies would be “disproportionately harmed” by overly broad rules.
    • “The open architecture of the internet allows anyone with a compelling product to launch with few barriers to entry. It is the smaller companies that would be least able to navigate overbroad rules, and whose competitiveness would be disproportionately harmed. For these reasons, imposing overly broad or unclear export controls on emerging technologies would jeopardize this country’s economic and technological competitiveness. In addition, it would harm U.S. national security by deterring the development and use of these technologies in the U.S. and driving technological innovation offshore.”
  • Ambiguous regulation could end up “deterring startups, researchers, and innovators from working, hiring, and building their businesses in the U.S.”
    • “Cutting-edge technologies are the cornerstone of U.S. competitiveness, but these are highly globalized industries and areas of research. The U.S. has served as the world’s incubator for technology development for decades in large part because of our country’s openness to global collaboration, partnerships, and trade. But this can change. We urge the U.S. government to be mindful of the potential consequences of deterring startups, researchers, and innovators, from working, hiring, and building their businesses in the U.S. due to ambiguous or overbroad regulation, or regulation that is out of sync with global norms.”

To read the filing, click here.

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