The Department for International Trade has published a new Open General Export Licence (OGEL) for cryptographic or information security items. The purpose of this OGEL is to allow the export of ‘low risk’ information security items considered ‘dual-use’ (as defined as having both civil and military uses) containing encryption technologies to a range of destinations.
techUK, along with the ADS EGADD committee, has been working with the DIT and NCSC for months and even though the final version is a significant step forward over previous versions, we believe the licence is not in the right shape to be practically used by companies seeking to export ceyptographic items.
The reporting requirements mean the application process is not as easy to complete as single licences (OGELs are meant to be easier) and crucially the information requested is often not known or available to applicants (for example when the crypto software is part of a finished article). The licence also requests data that is either too commercially sensitive or vital for the goods’ security (crypto key lengths for example) to pass on to third parties. There is also an issue that many key markets are still out of scope, which limits where the OGEL can be used.
Over the coming months it will be interesting to see how many applications are made using this OGEL and even though we have been sceptical the OGEL publication is a positive step and we will continue to work with Government on futute refinements to and overcome some of the issues business has with it.