Israel to Ease Cyber-Security Export Curbs, Premier Says

Israel will relax constraints on exports of cyber-security products, taking some risk for a “much bigger gain,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu announced the plan at a Cybertech conference in Tel Aviv, saying it will involve easing “some of the constraints we have traditionally put on things that have implications for national security.” The prime minister was promoting the industry in Davos last week.

Israel is formulating rules for exports that will be based on the Wassenaar Arrangement on export controls for conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies, Eviatar Matania, the head of the National Cyber Bureau, told reporters.

Israel’s cyber-industry has grown from a few dozen companies to more than 220 in the past three years, according to the Tel Aviv-based IVC Research Center that monitors the industry. Lockheed Martin and EMC Corp. yesterday announced plans for a joint investment in developing projects in Israel that will include cyber technologies.

“Cyber is not just about national security it’s actually good business,” Chief Scientist Avi Hasson, who is responsible for government technology funding, said in a phone interview.

Sales of cyber technology can boost Israeli exports, which stalled last year after helping to drive the economy’s growth in the past decade.

Israel is a leader in such products partly due to experience of dealing with daily attacks on its government websites.

Cyber-security company Seculert said on its website today that its technology identified an attack on computers including one at the Israeli government unit responsible for granting work and entry permits to Palestinians.

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