Innovation Files has moved! For ITIF's quick takes, quips, and commentary on the latest in tech policy, go to itif.org

Innovation Fact of Week: Two-thirds of Encryption Products Come From Outside U.S.

Encryption

(Ed. Note: The “Innovation Fact of the Week” appears as a regular feature in each edition of ITIF’s weekly email newsletter. Sign up today.)

Placing limits on encryption in the United States would not stop sophisticated criminals and terrorists from acquiring the technology elsewhere. Researchers from Harvard University recently collected information on as many encrypted hardware and software products as they could find globally. They found that two-thirds of the products they identified (546 out of the 865) came from outside the U.S.

Germany was the most-common, non-U.S. source of encryption products, followed by the United Kingdom, Canada, France, and Sweden. Of the 546 foreign encryption products that the researchers identified, 56 percent were available for sale and 44 percent were free, while 66 percent were proprietary and 34 percent were open-source. Some of the for-sale products also had free versions. No national law could possibly control this global marketplace.

Read last week’s Innovation Fact of the Week.

Photo Credit: Intel Free Press via Flickr

Print Friendly

About the author

John Wu is an economic research assistant at ITIF His research interests include green technologies, labor economics, and time use. He graduated from the College of Wooster with a bachelor of arts in economics and sociology, with a minor in environmental studies.