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To impede would-be State and non-State proliferators from acquiring chemical weapons, numerous States have put in place export controls on proliferation-sensitive equipment, production software, chemicals, and specialized information. The effectiveness of these export controls is challenged by three trends. First, the production of dual-use equipment, software, chemicals, and information has globalized. By the term “dual-use,” we mean an item or a piece of information that has civilian applications but can also be misused by a would-be proliferant in their attempt to acquire chemical weapons. Second, scientific advances and the resultant “convergence” between biology and chemistry have created new dual-use equipment and chemicals that have not been traditionally covered by chemical warfare (CW) related export controls. Third, the internet has transformed how dual-use items and information are sourced. The first two trends expand the scope of items that should be subject to CW-related export controls; the third has revolutionized procurement processes in ways that enable illicit purchasers. The advent of the internet has facilitated malicious actor access to some types of CW-relevant items and information. Extant export control measures at the international and national levels must be rapidly enhanced to meet these challenges.

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