Targeting U.S. Technologies

Access to cutting edge technology is an essential ingredient of competitiveness, whether that advantage is sought for political, military, or economic ends. Accordingly, classified or otherwise restricted information resident in cleared industry will remain the focus of international interest at all levels and attempts to acquire this technology through both legal and illegal means will only increase in the future.

As U.S. industry reaches out to foreign business partners to enhance its own economic competitiveness, access to sensitive technologies may become even more difficult to control. The combination of these two parallel dynamics will continue to fuel the unprecedented degree of interest in restricted or classified information and pose a challenge to balance the sometimes competing security and economic imperatives within the global marketplace.

Information systems technology (particularly command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems and modeling and simulation programs) and aeronautics will likely remain priority targets for industrially advanced countries involved in military modernization programs.

Other aeronautics-related technologies, such as unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems, are also likely to remain foreign collection priorities. Countries with UAV research, development, and production programs will continue to focus on collecting information related to advanced UAV subsystems, while countries without indigenous UAV programs will seek complete UAV systems.

U.S. marine sensor technology will likely continue to be a target of Eastern and Central Asian navies as they advance into blue waters to protect their political and economic interests.

Sensors technology, especially radar sensor systems associated with missile defense technologies, will continue to be collection priorities for European and South and Central Asian entities while East Asian interests are expected to focus on sonar sensors. Established and emerging powers in these regions are likely to intensify efforts to acquire information related to missile guidance, positioning, and delivery systems.

It is likely that government and commercial collectors from both friendly and potentially adversarial nations will continue to seek advanced marine systems technology to bolster their naval modernization programs and develop or enhance their own arsenals.

Both state-sponsored and independent, non-governmental entities worldwide are expected to increase their cyber collection attempts against cleared industry. The continuous refinement of cyber reconnaissance competencies will allow foreign collectors to design even more efficient targeting plans employing the full range of collection techniques to acquire U.S. technologies of interest.

Foreign collectors will continue to seek the United States’ dual-use technologies, irrespective of their commercial or military application. Acquiring such technologies enables foreign entities to advance their own technological research and development (R&D) capabilities and expand markets into technical fields otherwise beyond the scope or capabilities of indigenous R&D programs.

Foreign commercial and government entities will continue to exploit the gray areas of international business, blurring the lines between legitimate global business practices and illicit attempts to acquire U.S. technologies.

Rapid economic globalization will foster advanced technologies sales across borders where the end-user cannot always be determined, increased joint commercial endeavors with foreign firms, and accelerated foreign acquisition of U.S. companies involved with classified or restricted technologies. Although the majority of these efforts will be for legal and legitimate business purposes, hostile elements will orchestrate a portion of these foreign endeavors to gain access to sensitive U.S. technology for unauthorized transfer.

The inevitable dynamics of rapid globalization and increasingly competitive markets combine to create an environment where the integrity of U.S. classified information and technologies entrusted to cleared industry is at an elevated risk.

This complicated and challenging security environment demands that cleared contractor employees embrace their essential role as the “first line of defense” against those whose interests are inimical to U.S. interests. DSS security and counterintelligence professionals stand ready to assist cleared contractor employees in the critical defense of our nation’s most sensitive technologies. (Confidence Level: High)

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