News
News
2/23/2006
02:31 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
Repost This

Debate Rages Over Port Security Technology

Bush administration critics worry that high-tech devices and strategies, such as biometrics, RFID, and radiation sensor technology being installed at ports could fall into the wrong hands.

Last April, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a report on the status of the Container Security Initiative (CSI), a program launched by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in January 2002 to target and inspect high-risk cargo from foreign seaports before they depart to the U.S. The GAO reported about 35 percent of the shipments from CSI ports were not targeted or subjected to inspections due to staffing issues. The report also noted that CPB has limited assurance that inspections conducted are effective at detecting and identifying terrorist weapons of mass destruction because minimum technical requirements for detection equipment do not exist.

Still, less than 5 percent of cargo entering the U.S. today is inspected. Yet, funding for port security has increased by 700 percent since 9/11, said Customs and Border Protection's Yoon. "In fiscal year 2005, DHS spent about $1.6 billion on port security," she said. "Now, if that's not a commitment to securing our ports I don't know what is."

No one disputes the government's plans to increase spending to tighten U.S. borders. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff on Feb. 6 released President BushSMQ-8217-SMQs fiscal year 2007 budget request for the Department of Homeland (DHS) Security. It represents $42.7 billion in funding, up 6 percent from the previous year.

The budget requests $139 million for the Container Security Initiative (CSI) to pre-screen inbound cargo at more than 40 foreign ports and $55 million for Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT), an international partnership with more than 7,000 businesses. This projects aims to enhance the security of organizations throughout the cargo supply-chain. "CSI and C-TPAT are critical in the prevention and deterrence of weapons of mass destruction and other dangerous or illegal materials," according to the report.

The budget also calls for enhanced maritime and transportation security that includes $30.3 million to fund the Cargo Advanced Automated Radiography Systems (CAARS) development initiative. The budget reports the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office will execute a program developing advanced active-imaging radiography systems for cargo inspection at the nationSMQ-8217-SMQs ports.

The decision should improve imaging systems designed to identify concealed nuclear materials. The report states the technology will eliminate the need for operator interpretation of radiographic images, and reduce overall inspection time of five minutes to approximately thirty seconds.

Previous
2 of 3
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The Agile Archive
The Agile Archive
When it comes to managing data, donít look at backup and archiving systems as burdens and cost centers. A well-designed archive can enhance data protection and restores, ease search and e-discovery efforts, and save money by intelligently moving data from expensive primary storage systems.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Elite 100 - 2014
Our InformationWeek Elite 100 issue -- our 26th ranking of technology innovators -- shines a spotlight on businesses that are succeeding because of their digital strategies. We take a close at look at the top five companies in this year's ranking and the eight winners of our Business Innovation awards, and offer 20 great ideas that you can use in your company. We also provide a ranked list of our Elite 100 innovators.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Audio Interviews
Archived Audio Interviews
GE is a leader in combining connected devices and advanced analytics in pursuit of practical goals like less downtime, lower operating costs, and higher throughput. At GIO Power & Water, CIO Jim Fowler is part of the team exploring how to apply these techniques to some of the world's essential infrastructure, from power plants to water treatment systems. Join us, and bring your questions, as we talk about what's ahead.