INFORMATION

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Document fraud

- 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.

Port security.

- 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.

Worker ID

- 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.

Nuclear Facilities

- 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.

False Arrest

- A false arrest practical joke gone bad was not grounds for a lawsuit against the company, said a court.

Identity theft.

- Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has offered several proposals designed to combat identity theft in the state. The proposals are currently under review by state agencies. They will subsequently be introduced in the Minnesota Legislature.

Aircraft security

- A bill (H.R. 4353) introduced by Rep. Christopher Shays (R-CT) would require that all passengers flying on aircraft that is also carrying uninspected cargo be notified by DHS. The passengers would be told that the aircraft’s cargo has not been screened for explosives or other hazardous materials.

Explosives.

- A bill (H.R. 4877) introduced by Rep. Heather Wilson (R-NM) would require that the Attorney General conduct a study on how private entities and state and local governments store explosive material that has been shipped via interstate commerce. After completing the study, the government would establish regulations for minimum security standards required for the safe and secure storage of such materials. Violation of the regulations would be punishable by a fine of $500 per pound of explosives.

Livestock identification

- A bill (H.R. 3170) introduced by Rep. Steve King (R-IA) would establish an electronic livestock-identification system capable of tracing all U.S. livestock from the time animals are moved from their original premises to the time of slaughter. (Under the bill, livestock is defined as cattle, swine, sheep, goats, and poultry.) All records would be available within 48 hours of an animal’s relocation. The system would also track all relevant livestock information including identification number, species, and date of birth. The tracking system would be maintained in a centralized livestock data system.

Cargo security

- A bill (H.R. 4899) introduced by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) would require that all cargo containers bound for the United States be scanned using the best-available technology—including radiation and density scanning—before they are loaded onto a ship. These scans would then be reviewed by U.S. security personnel before the container is loaded. Once scanned, the containers would be sealed with a device that would indicate whether the container has been tampered with in transit. Under the bill, this device would have to have the capability to notify officials if a breach has occurred before the container enters a U.S. port.

Privacy

- A bill (S. 2389) introduced by Sen. George Allen (R-VA) that would make it illegal to solicit, acquire, or sell another person’s confidential telephone records without that person’s consent has been approved by the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. A similar provision (S. 2178) has been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee. S. 2178 would prohibit obtaining confidential phone records by fraud or any other unauthorized means from a telecommunications carrier or IP-enabled service provider. Under the measure, the sale of such records by anyone would be punishable by up to five years in prison. The penalty doubles for repeat violations within a 12-month period and for violations involving more than $100,000 or more than 50 customers. Law enforcement activities are exempt.

Port security

- A port security bill (H.R. 4954) introduced by Rep. Daniel Lungren (R-CA) has been approved by the House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Economic Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Cybersecurity

Legal Report

- The Ninth Circuit on the ADA and mental illness; pending U.S. laws on counterfeiting, privacy, and transit; new legislation in Missouri and Virginia
 




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