THE MAGAZINE

Seaport Security

A bill (S. 378) introduced by Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE) that would have created several new seaport security crimes was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee but was never brought before the full Senate. The bill would have made it a crime to enter a secure area of a seaport under false pretenses, forcibly interfere with an authorized law enforcement action, provide false information during a boarding, or willfully disable a passenger vehicle. The measure would also have created the crime of knowingly and intentionally placing a device aboard a vessel that is likely to damage or destroy the vessel; discharge or release any substance that would endanger human welfare or the marine environment; or transport any explosive, biological, chemical, or nuclear material to be used to commit terrorism. Under S. 378, it would have been illegal to knowingly transport a terrorist or terror suspect aboard a vessel or willfully cause destruction of a vessel or maritime facility. The bill would also have increased penalties for stowaways on vessels or aircraft.

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