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EU – Critical technology areas identified

The European Commission adopted a Recommendation on critical technology areas for the EU’s economic security for further risk assessment with Member States.

This Recommendation relates to assessing one of four types of risks in that comprehensive approach, namely technology risk and technology leakage. The risk assessment will be objective, and neither its results nor any follow-up measures can be anticipated. In the Recommendation, the Commission puts forward a list of ten critical technology areas. These technology areas were selected based on the following criteria:

  • Enabling and transformative nature of the technology: the technologies’ potential and relevance for driving significant increases in performance and efficiency and/or radical changes for sectors, capabilities, etc.;
  • The risk of civil and military fusion: the technologies’ relevance for both the civil and military sectors and its potential to advance both domains, as well as risk of uses of certain technologies to undermine peace and security;
  • The risk the technology could be used in violation of human rights: the technologies’ potential misuse in violation of human rights, including restricting fundamental freedoms.

Out of the ten critical technology areas, the Recommendations identify four technology areas that are considered highly likely to present the most sensitive and immediate risks related to technology security and technology leakage:

  • Advanced Semiconductors technologies (microelectronics, photonics, high-frequency chips, semiconductor manufacturing equipment);
  • Artificial Intelligence technologies (high-performance computing, cloud and edge computing, data analytics, computer vision, language processing, object recognition);
  • Quantum technologies (quantum computing, quantum cryptography, quantum communications, quantum sensing and radar);
  • Biotechnologies (genetic modification techniques, new genomic methods, gene drive, synthetic biology).

The Commission recommends that Member States and the Commission conduct collective risk assessments of these four areas by the end of this year. The Recommendation includes some guiding principles to structure the collective risk assessments, including consultation with the private sector and confidentiality protection.

3 Oct 2023, Source.

US- Guidance on best practices for compliance statements

The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the U.S. Department of Commerce has announced new best practice guidance for industry to help prevent items considered the most significant to Russian weaponry requirements from being diverted for use in Russia’s war effort on Ukraine. In July 2023, BIS published a list of high-priority items that Russia seeks to procure for its weapons programs. The list is divided into four tiers, ranked according to their relative degree of criticality.

Specifically, BIS recommends that exporters and reexporters of these highest priority items seek written assurances of compliance from their customers to help prevent diversion. The guidance includes a sample written certification form (see below).

Sample Certification
Sample Certification

US – Transnational repression countries

Transnational repression (TNR) is when governments use threats or violence to silence dissenters living abroad. According to a US report, foreign governments may use various tactics—from spyware to assault—to silence U.S.-based dissidents.

US Agencies have worked to track such incidents. They reported on foreign governments known to engage in TNR worldwide, some receiving U.S. arms transfers. However, a lack of shared understanding of TNR would hinder efforts to track incidents against U.S.-based persons fully.

U.S. law does not explicitly criminalize TNR, but agencies have used existing tools to penalize individuals for TNR against U.S.-based persons. State-imposed visa restrictions on 76 Saudis believed to have been engaged in acts of TNR, including the murder of U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi.

Section 6 of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA)—which prohibits arms transfers to countries that the President determines are engaged in a consistent pattern of acts of intimidation or harassment against individuals in the U.S.—offers a way to hold some governments accountable for TNR against individuals in the U.S. However, no such determinations have been made.

3 Oct 2023, Source.

Foreign Governments that Received U.S. Arms Transfers in Fiscal Year 2017-2021 and/or Were Named as Transnational Repression Perpetrators in Reports (Issued 2022–2023)

Reading for you – Our readings of the week

US OFAC – Emigrant Bank

Emigrant Bank (Emigrant), a bank in New York, has agreed to remit $31,867.90 to settle its potential civil liability for 30 apparent violations of the Iran sanctions administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). For approximately 26 years, Emigrant maintained a Certificate of Deposit (CD) account on behalf of two individuals ordinarily resident and located in Iran, for which it processed 30 transactions between June 2017 and March 2021 totaling $91,051.13. Emigrant had actual knowledge of the Iranian address and apparent location of the accountholders during this period. Generally, U.S. sanctions on Iran prohibit U.S. persons — including financial institutions — from providing services to Iran. As a mitigating factor, OFAC considered that Emigrant voluntarily self-disclosed the Apparent Violations and cooperated with OFAC’s investigation.

21 Sep 2023, Source.


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