WASHINGTON -- Exports of high performance computers (HPCs) have continued to increase more than expected, according to a report the Department of Commerce sent to Congress today. The report identifies the locations and end-uses of the computers faster than 2,000 Million Theoretical Operations Per Second (MTOPS) exported to countries designated as "Tier III", including China, Russia, Israel, Pakistan and India, within the past 12 months.
Tier III countries received 390 HPCs in the first reporting year of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1998 (NDAA). In the previous calendar year, only 279 computers were sold to Tier III. NDAA requires on-site visits to every HPC sold to Tier III countries. During the reporting period, Commerce visited 104 HPCs. It found more than half of the computers in use at utilities, communications and financial industries.
"The increased volume of HPC exports shows that the performance level of 2,000 MTOP has already been overtaken by technology," said William A. Reinsch, Under Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration. "The resultant burden of on-site visits to each computer is an example of good intentions leading to wasteful government expense and no improvement to national security."
"A major goal of this Administration and the Congress is to halt the spread of weapons of mass destruction. However, requiring us to visit every site where an HPC is installed, regardless of what business the end-user is in or how many times it has been visited before, is ineffective," Reinsch continued. "We spend too much time and money disrupting the legitimate business activities of banks, insurance companies, telephone service providers and U.S. subsidiaries. Congress should let us target our enforcement resources where they will do the most good," he concluded.
One hundred ninety-one HPCs were exported to China. As a result of a framework arrangement made during the U.S.-China summit in June 1998, one on-site visit to an HPC end-user was conducted during the reporting period. Subsequently, BXA conducted two additional HPC visits.
The report is required by Section 1213 of the NDAA. Commerce will not release the report in its entirety because it contains sensitive business information of U.S. companies
In April of 2002 the Bureau of Export Administration (BXA) changed its name to the Bureau of Industry and Security(BIS). For historical purposes we have not changed the references to BXA in the legacy documents found in the Archived Press and Public Information.