It succeeds the Cold War Coordination Committee on Multilateral Export Controls (COCOM) and was founded on 12 July 1996 in Wassenaar, the Netherlands, near The Hague. The Wassenaar agreement is much less stringent than COCOM, focusing mainly on the transparency of national export control regimes and not giving some members a veto over organisational decisions. A secretariat for the management of the agreement is located in Vienna, Austria. However, as a cocom, it is not a treaty and is therefore not legally binding. For India, the 42nd member of this group – among the other participating countries are Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States – is a boost to its non-proliferation rights and will open doors. But what exactly does the VA do? Ambassador Sune Danielsson Head of the Secretariat Phone: (43-1) 960 03 Fax: (43-1) 960 031 or 032 E-mail: [email protected] Website: www.wassenaar.org The aim of the amendments was to prevent Western technology companies from selling surveillance technologies to governments notoriously abused by 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 twelfth plenary session on 5 and 6 December in Vienna celebrated the tenth anniversary of the VA and was chaired by Ambassador Peter Shannon of Australia. Parliament has successfully adopted a number of checklist changes, while expressing a desire to establish a dialogue with the VA panel and the missile technology control regime to improve the regime`s ability to keep pace with the progress of technologies, market trends and international security. In addition, the plenary decided to make available to the public two best practices for Implementing Intangible Transfers of Technology Controls and Best Practice Guidelines for the Licensing of Its Licensing on the Basic List and Sensitive List of Dual-Use Goods and Technologies – to complement the plenary agreement to maintain a high priority for transparency and contact with non-participating states and international organisations to promote strengthening export controls.