The Wassenaar Agreement is an elite club of countries that support arms export controls, such as the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the Missile Technology Control Regime. In November 1993, negotiations between the 17 MEMBER states of COCOM on the structure and objectives of the organization that will succeed COCOM began. Its members agreed to continue implementing restrictions on technology transfer until an agreement is reached on its successor organization. A consensus was reached on 9 December 1995 on the new organization known as the Wassenaar Agreement on the Control of Exports of Conventional Weapons and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies. On May 20, the U.S. government`s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) proposed the implementation of the agreements reached at the December 2013 plenary session. Created in 1992 with the aim of gradually easing and removing export restrictions, the COCOM Cooperation Forum was held in Paris in November 1992. 42 countries participated in the forum. VA members are required to maintain strict national export control systems in line with those of the former countries of the Coordination Committee on Multilateral Export Controls (COCOM). Participating States, for their part, must be or be members of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the United Nations Register on Conventional Weapons. Ambassador Sune Danielsson Head of the Secretariat Phone: (43-1) 960 03 Fax: (43-1) 960 031 or 032 E-mail: [email protected] Site: www.wassenaar.org Wassenaar has overcome a lot of growing pain, problems persist.
One of the main difficulties of the agreement is that members remain divided on the scope of Wassenaar, first of all whether the agreement should become more than just an information-gathering and exchange body. As Wassenaar works by mutual agreement, only one country can block any proposal. In previous years, some members have consistently refused to participate fully in voluntary exchanges of information and communications on dual-use goods, despite improved participation.  In addition, there is no consensus among members on which countries are „concerning“ or what constitutes „destabilizing“ transmission. Another restrictive factor is that some major arms exporters such as Belarus, China and Israel are not members. The aim of the amendments was to prevent Western technology companies from selling to governments that are known to be abusing human rights. However, some technology companies have expressed concern that the scope of controls may be too broad, limiting the ability of security researchers to identify and correct security vulnerabilities. Google and Facebook have criticized the agreement for the restrictions they will set for activities such as penetration testing, information exchange on threats and bounty programs.   They argue that the restrictions will weaken the security of participating nations and will do little to contain the threats of non-participating nations.
 The Wassenaar Agreement on the Control of Exports of Conventional Weapons and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies was introduced in Wassenaar, the Netherlands, and came into force on 1 November 1996.