INFORMATION

Site Map - Legal Report

Spyware

- A bill (H.R. 964) introduced by Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY) that would make the use of spyware illegal in certain circumstances has been approved by the House of Representatives and has been referred to the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.

Terrorism Insurance

- A bill (H.R. 2761) introduced by Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA) that would reauthorize the government-based terrorism insurance program for ten more years has been approved by the House Financial Services Committee. The measure must now be considered by the full House of Representatives.

Agriculture Security

- A bill (H.R. 1717) that would establish a national agricultural and biodefense facility has been approved by the House Homeland Security Committee. H.R. 1717 is also pending in the House Agriculture Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Airport Security

- A bill (H.R. 1413) that would establish an airport security pilot program to screen airport workers with access to secure and  sterile areas of airports has been approved by the House Homeland Security Committee. To proceed, the bill must now be taken up by the full House of Representatives.

Security Officers

- A bill (H.R. 2703) introduced by Rep. Robert Andrews (D-NJ) would require that all security officers undergo a federal and state background check covering the previous ten years. The applicant would be precluded from getting the job if he or she had been convicted any one of a number of crimes, including illegal firearms possession, burglary, buying or receiving stolen property, unlawful entry, reckless endangerment, making threats of terrorism, or any crime of violence. Other offenses may disqualify the applicant from a job as a security officer if that crime is relevant to the ability of the employee to provide reliable security services.

Legal Report

- Must bar owners intervene in an attack on a patron? A California court decides. Also, Congress addresses transit security, OSHA, and other topics.

Cyber predators

- A bill  (S.B. 62) recently signed into law in Georgia has created the new crime of “initiation of deceptive commercial e-mail.” Designed to punish those who lure children via chat rooms and instant messaging, the crime is a misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and 12 months in jail. On the second offense, however, the act is a felony and is punishable by a fine of up to $50,000 and five years in prison. The law also allows law enforcement officers to subpoena an Internet service provider to obtain the identity of a computer user under investigation for stalking children online.

Hazardous material

- A bill (S. 1256) introduced by Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE) would require the Department of Homeland Security to issue regulations for the rail shipment and storage of extremely hazardous materials by railroads.

Border Security

- The Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill, signed into law (P.L. 109-90) by President Bush in October, contains $940 million for border security initiatives, including 1,500 new border patrol agents and expanded detention capacity.

OSHA

- A bill (H.R. 3165) introduced by Rep. Al Green (D-TX) would hold companies criminally liable for the deaths of contract employees that result from willful violations of safety standards set out by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. H.R. 3165 has 12 cosponsors and has been referred to the House Education and the Workforce Committee.

First responders

- Two Senate bills have been introduced to address communication issues that arose in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. One bill (S. 1554), introduced by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), would establish a grant program to improve overall communications equipment for first responders. Collins, who is chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, said that “This bill takes an important step toward improving emergency communications nationwide so no community experiences the communications failure we saw in parts of the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.” The bill has one cosponsor—ranking minority member on the committee Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-CT)—and has been referred to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Another bill (S. 1762), introduced by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), would also establish a grant program. However, it would be designed to establish an interoperable communications system for first responders.

Transit security

- Asked to give their opinions about mass transit security, witnesses from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), consultants, and transit operators for the United States and the United Kingdom gathered to testify before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. @ Visit Security Management Online to read the hearing testimony of Senator Susan Collins, Senator Joe Lieberman, DHS Assistant Secretary, Edmund Hawley, Chief Operating Office, of London Underground Michael Brown, Chief Metro Transit Police Department, Polly Hansen, President , New Age Security Solutions Rafi Ron.

Legal Report

- A highlight of the major legislation passed, and passed over, by the 109th Congress.
 




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