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CSIS: BIS Needs to Improve Digital Infrastructure to Strengthen Export Control Enforcement

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The Center for Strategic and International Studies has recommended that the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security improve its digital and data infrastructure to strengthen the U.S. government’s enforcement of export controls.

In a recent report, CSIS said that BIS could adopt modern data science and machine learning technologies to enhance the productivity and efficacy of export controls and boost its enforcement capabilities amid export control evasion attempts by Russian and Chinese organizations.

“Improved technology would go a long way toward strengthening BIS’s ability to manage its key administrative lists, rapidly assess license applications, and effectively enforce export controls,” the report reads.

According to CSIS, the adoption of modern technology at BIS “would be a major force multiplier” because it offers a range of benefits including increased analyst productivity, swifter identification of circumvention, enhanced enforcement capabilities and reduced regulatory burden.

“Digitizing licensing and enforcement would increase productivity, reduce private sector burdens, and directly impact the Russian war machine by allowing the real-time cross-checking of large data sets, such as the interagency Automated Export System (AES), against BIS’s internal system, classified intelligence, and open-source intelligence,” according to the analysis.

The report also noted that a lack of funding poses a barrier to improving BIS digital and data infrastructure and suggested an appropriation of $25 million annually to support technology modernization efforts at the agency.