The Department of Commerce on Monday began a congressionally-directed outreach effort to the public to sort out emerging technologies that are critical to national security that need to be controlled for exports.

The Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) by the department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is seeking “public comment for criteria for identifying emerging technologies that are essential to U.S. national security, for example because they have potential conventional weapons, intelligence collection, weapons of mass destruction, or terrorist applications or could provide the United States with a qualitative military or intelligence advantage.”Commerce Department logo

Congress in the fiscal year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act directed the Commerce Department to establish controls on the export, re-export, or transfer of emerging and foundational technologies. An interagency process will be used to determine what these technologies are but the ANPRM lists 14 representative technology categories that may contain emerging technologies for controls.

The general categories are biotechnology, artificial intelligence and machine learning, position, navigation and timing, microprocessors, advanced computing, data analytics, quantum information and sensing, logistics, additive manufacturing, robotics, brain-computer interfaces, hypersonics, advanced materials, and advanced surveillance.

The current ANPRM applies to emerging technologies, not foundational ones. A separate request for comments on foundational technologies is forthcoming.

The BIS controls exports of dual-use and less sensitive military items through the various regulations, including the Commerce Control List.