Targeting U.S. Technologies
Europe and Eurasia

Case Study

OVERVIEW

In fiscal year 2009 (FY09), entities from the European and Eurasian region ranked as the fourth most active collectors of export-controlled or classified technology and information. In contrast to a downward trend noted over the last five years, the number of suspicious contact reports associated with the region increased slightly in FY09, accounting for 15 percent of all reporting from industry. However, analysis indicates the recent increase in reporting is due in part to the uncharacteristically high volume of reporting concerning targeting of cleared contractors at trade shows and conventions in the United States and abroad.

Commercial actors were the top European and Eurasian collectors of U.S. technology in FY09. The wide-variety of commercial enterprises identified within this affiliation category depicts a continuing regional preference for using a variety of collectors to target cleared industry. European and Eurasian collectors typically used direct requests as the preferred collection method of operation (MO), a consistent trend among the other regions of origin. Not surprisingly, collection attempts remained focused primarily on aeronautics technology and specifically targeted unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems.

COLLECTOR AFFILIATIONS

In FY09, commercial-affiliated collectors were responsible for nearly 40 percent of regional collection attempts targeting U.S. technology and information. The dominance of commercially-based inquiries represents a recurring trend noted over the past five years.

The most notable change in regional collector affiliations for FY09 was the dramatic increase in the number of collectors who successfully masked their affiliation, frequently using the Internet to remain anonymous. Collectors of unknown affiliation increased five-fold to become the second most prolific affiliation category, now representing 25 percent of all collection reporting associated with the region.

In contrast, the number of inquiries from individuals purportedly representing their own interests declined to six percent in FY09, down from 23 percent of collection attempts in FY08.

Analyst Comment: This surge in collection attempts of unknown affiliation is likely attributable to the anonymity the Internet offers. It is highly likely collectors will increase their use of the Internet as a low-risk, high gain approach for information, price quotes, or purchase requests to both directly contact cleared industry and obtain non-attributable network access to U.S. information and technologies. (Confidence Level: High)

Figure 12

METHODS OF OPERATION

Two commonly employed collection techniques, contacting cleared industry remotely and exploiting face-to-face contact to acquire information during foreign visits, accounted for an overwhelming 85 percent of all reported collection attempts attributable to European and Eurasian collectors in FY09.

Consistent with previous years’ reporting, European and Eurasian collectors once again relied heavily on direct requests as the primary means to acquire information through the use of email, web-card submissions, phone calls, and in person requests for classified or restricted technology.

The most noteworthy change in FY09 was the increased exploitation of the foreign visits and targeting MO as a preferred collection technique. This MO accounted for 16 percent of all contacts, more than quadrupling the percentage reported in FY08. These foreign visits or targeting at trade shows and conventions allowed foreign entities access to cleared industry under the cover of commercial interest.

Analyst Comment: It is likely the increased use of foreign visits and targeting was related to a noteworthy increase in reporting from cleared contractor employees participating in trade shows and conventions. The proliferation of trade shows and conventions represent attractive targets of opportunity for aggressive technology collection. FY09 reporting reinforces historical collection trends suggesting that foreign collectors will continue to exploit these venues to target cleared industry. (Confidence Level: High)

Figure 13

TARGETED TECHNOLOGIES

Consistent with FY08 reporting, information related to aeronautics technology remained a European and Eurasian collection focus. Information systems, especially technologies associated with UAV ground station communications, was the second most targeted technology in FY09.

Based on industry reporting, the number of collection attempts directed against electronics and sensors technology doubled in FY09. Additionally, regional interest in armaments and energetic materials technology represented seven percent of reporting. In contrast, there were no reported collection attempts against this category in FY08. Entities originating from Europe and Eurasia likely targeted electronics, information systems, armaments and energetic materials, and aeronautics technologies to aid in the modernization of their indigenous armed forces and close technology gaps.

Analyst Comment: Based on requirements associated with regional military modernization plans, targeting of aeronautics and missile system technology in cleared industry will not only likely continue, but will also likely facilitate regional efforts to upgrade defense systems and bolster indigenous research and development programs. (Confidence Level: High)

Table 4

ANALYTICAL FORECAST

Indigenous requirements to modernize arsenals and enhance military capabilities continue to drive European and Eurasian actors to focus collection efforts on acquiring classified or restricted U.S. technology. Furthermore, it is highly likely European and Eurasian entities will continue to target cleared industry for aeronautics and information systems technologies, specifically to aid in the development of advanced indigenous UAV systems. Success in these collection areas will allow foreign entities from this region a more rapid and less expensive approach for indigenous research and development programs essential to modernization efforts.

It is likely entities within the region will attempt to exploit an increasing number of joint military operations with the United States to gain access and familiarity to cutting-edge, dual-use technologies. The rising number of corporate mergers and joint ventures involving Europe and Eurasia and the United States will likely fuel a continued desire for access to specific U.S. technologies. The access these venues afford will likely lower the profile of overt collection attempts, as governments seek to satisfy requirements through commercial surrogates without direct attribution. Targets of opportunity, such as trade shows and conventions, are likely to continue to present ample occasions for exploitation.

Clandestine methods effectively employed by some actors in the region likely mask the full range of collection activities targeting U.S. cleared industry. Similarly, the number of unknown-affiliated collectors will likely continue to increase as collectors continue to use the low-risk, high gain collection opportunities the Internet provides. (Confidence Level: Moderate)

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