Counterfeits Infiltrate The Military, Government Takes Charge

July 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

At a press conference last month, U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin reported that counterfeits had infiltrated the Pentagon’s supply chain. According to, this includes microprocessors for fighter jets and microcircuits for Missile Defense Agency hardware. A new bill was proposed to target “malicious offenders– those who already are guilty of trafficking in counterfeit goods and know that they are selling military counterfeits.” It is supported by three major groups: the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the Semiconductor Industry Association.

In response to counterfeits the Interagency Task Force on Electronics Stewardship released a report detailing the necessary steps the government needs to take in order to monitor the management of electronics more carefully. These four goals are listed in the report:

    1. Build Incentives for Design of Greener Electronics, and Enhance Science, Research and Technology Development in the United States (e.g., launch prize competitions to stimulate innovations in green product design, recycling solutions, and other phases of the electronics lifecycle).
    2. Ensure that the Federal Government Leads by Example (e.g., encourage electronics manufacturers to expand their product take-back programs, and use certified recyclers as a minimum standard in those programs, by expanding the use of manufacturer take-back agreements in Federal electronics purchase, rental and service contracts).
    3. Reduce Harm from US Exports of E-Waste and Improve Safe Handling of Used Electronics in Developing Countries (e.g., support ratification of the Basel Convention on the Control of Trans-boundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal and provide technical assistance and establish partnerships with developing countries to better manage used electronic equipment).
    4. Increase Safe and Effective Management and Handling of Used Electronics in the United States (e.g., launch voluntary partnerships with the electronics industry and provide guidance to electronics recycling employers).

These are all great goals as well as necessary steps in order to improve the management of electronics and stop counterfeits from getting into the supply chain. Bloomberg even joined with several top agencies last month in “Operation Chain Reaction” to intercept counterfeit military parts sold to the government. Counterfeit electronics are dangerous. Whether it be fake batteries, curling irons, cell phones or computer chips, they all can be faulty and some have the potential to explode. Make sure you purchase products from reputable retailers and trusted websites.


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