09/24/2007 - A bill (S. 2668) introduced by Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) would require that companies incorporate RFID tagging technology, tamper-indicating technologies, and security packaging into all prescription drugs. These technologies would be used only to authenticate the integrity of the drugs and would not be used to transmit any identifying information about healthcare practitioners, consumers, or advertisers. S. 2668 has no cosponsors and has been referred to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.
Legal Report: ID issues \ Identity Theft
09/24/2007 - A bill (H.R. 4127) that would require that companies protect the personal information of customers has been approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the House Judiciary Committee, and the House Financial Services Committee. The bill has now been taken up by the full House. H.R. 4127 would require that any company that holds or transmits individuals’ personal information establish security to protect that information. The bill would also require that information brokers set up reasonable procedures to verify the accuracy of information they collect, assemble, or maintain. H.R. 4127 prohibits information brokers from obtaining or attempting to obtain personal information through false pretenses. The bill defines false pretenses as making false statements or representations or providing counterfeit, lost, stolen, or fraudulently obtained documents.
Legal Issues: Maritime Security
09/24/2007 - Two cargo security bills (S. 2459 and H.R. 4954) are pending in Congress. The two are companion bills. Lawmakers are expected to merge the two into a single bill. S. 2459, the GreenLane Maritime Cargo Security Act, has been approved by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and has been taken up by the Senate. The bill would establish a program to certify all supply chain participants to increase security. The bill would also set minimum security standards for all cargo containers entering the United States and create a joint operations center to coordinate maritime commerce at a federal level. H.R. 4954, also referred to as the Security and Accountability for Every Port Act, or the SAFE Port Act, has been approved by the House and has now been taken up by the Senate. The bill would establish security standards for cargo containers and require nuclear and radiological detection screening at all U.S. seaports. The bill would also provide an extra $400 million annually in port security grants.
Legal Report: Legislation
09/24/2007 - A bill (S. 2803) designed to improve mine safety and protect the health of mine workers has been approved by both houses of Congress and is awaiting the President’s signature. The bill would require mine operators to adopt and maintain an accident response plan for when miners are trapped. Under the bill, the plan would include redundant local communications systems, emergency air supplies, escapeways, emergency training, and wireless communication systems to allow contact between trapped miners and officials on the surface. To encourage new technology, the bill would provide grants for those developing new mine safety equipment. S. 2803 would also establish an interagency working group to share technology, research, and developments in mine safety and emergency response.
Legal Report: Port Security
09/24/2007 - A grocery store wasn’t held liable for detaining a patron mistakenly accused of theft. Also, legislation on port security, counterfeiting, and helicopter safety
Legal Report: Hiring \ Employment Issues
09/24/2007 - A bill (S.B. 186) currently under consideration in the West Virginia Legislature would provide employers immunity in disclosing information about former employees. Immunity would be waived, however, in cases where the former employer knowingly gives information that is false, disclosed with reckless disregard for the truth, deliberately misleading, or malicious.
Legal Report: Crime
09/24/2007 - A bill (H.B. 1205) introduced in the Missouri House of Representatives would make it illegal to alter or falsify drug or alcohol test results. The bill would also create the crime of transporting a biological sample or adulterant with the intent of falsifying test results.
Legal Report: Airport Security
09/24/2007 - A bill (H.R. 4765) introduced by Rep. Anthony D. Weiner (D-NY) would require the government to designate an area at high risk for a terrorist attack as a high-threat helicopter-flight area. The government would screen all passengers and property transported from a high-threat flight area to a standard passenger helicopter. The screening would be equivalent to that provided for passengers and property carried aboard a domestic passenger aircraft. The bill would also require that the government develop a plan to conduct the screening, including acquiring equipment and hiring and training personnel. H.R. 4765 has no cosponsors and has been referred to the House Homeland Security Committee and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
Legal Report: Airport Security
09/24/2007 - A bill (H.R. 4439) that would overhaul the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to increase aviation security has been approved by the House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Economic Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Cybersecurity. The bill must now be taken up by the full committee to proceed. The bill would require that the TSA reorganize to focus resources on areas that are at greatest risk of terrorist attack and would mandate that the TSA create a program to instantaneously prescreen all international passengers traveling to the United States. The bill would also allow state and local governments to compete with federal contractors to provide airport security. Under the bill, the TSA would be required to create new training standards to help those who check documents to recognize fraudulent identification. Under the measure, the government would create an independent agency within the TSA to focus on airline passenger and baggage screening.
Legal Report: Travel Security
09/24/2007 - A bill (S. 2631) introduced by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) would prohibit the production, transfer, possession, and use of false travel documents. The bill has no cosponsors and has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Legal Report: Port Security
09/24/2007 - A port security bill (H.R. 4954) has been approved by the House of Representatives. The Senate has placed the measure on its calendar, meaning that it will consider the bill. The bill, which will cost $7.4 billion, was approved by the House of Representatives with most of its original provisions intact.
09/24/2007 - The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has issued a proposed rule relating to the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC). Under this program all people who have unescorted access to secure areas of ports and vessels will be required to carry the TWIC card. As set out in the rule, TSA would collect names, personal information, fingerprints, and photos on all applicants for the card. TSA would also perform background checks including those for criminal history, terrorist activity, immigration status, and outstanding warrants. The TWIC will be a smart card and will include a biometric feature. According to the proposed rule, more than 750,000 people will be required to obtain the card. The TSA expects that workers will have to pay approximately $139 to obtain the TWIC card. The card will be valid for five years. @ To read the entire proposed rule, visit SM Online.
Legal Report: How-to
09/24/2007 - The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has announced its plan to formulate a new rule to guide risk assessments at nuclear power facilities. The risk assessments, which will be performance-based and technology-neutral, will be required before a facility can be issued a license by the NRC. The advance notice of the rulemaking does not set out the specifics of the plan. Instead, the NRC is asking for comments on whether the concept of the plan is reasonable and, if so, how it should be designed and implemented. The comment period expires December 29, 2006. @ read the advance notice of the proposed rule.