Border and Port Security

Primary Sources

Security and Accountability for Every (SAFE) Port Act

This legislation calls for the establishment of standards and equipment to scan for radiation all imported containers entering US ports. It includes protocols for emergency response, involving cooperation between local, state, and federal governments and the private sector. The act also calls for the inspection of "high-risk containers" before arrival to the US, and a strengthening of the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism program.

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GAO: Maritime Security: Information-Sharing Efforts Are Improving

Author: Stephen L. Caldwell

This report focuses on information sharing in the federal effort to secure US ports against a potential terrorist attack. The Coast Guard has lead responsibility in coordinating maritime information sharing efforts. The Coast Guard has established area maritime security committees--forums that involve federal and nonfederal officials who identify and address risks in a port. The Coast Guard and other agencies have sought to further enhance information sharing and port security operations by establishing interagency operational centers--command centers that tie together the efforts of federal and nonfederal participants. This testimony is a summary and update to an April 2005 report, and identifies barriers that have hindered information sharing.

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GAO: Border Security: Investigators Transported Radioactive Sources Across Our Nation's Borders at Two Locations

Author: Gregory D. Kutz

According to this July 2006 report, the GAO conducted an investigation testing whether radioactive sources could be smuggled across US borders. GAO purchased a small amount of radioactive sources and one secure container used to safely store and transport the material from a commercial source over the telephone. GAO's investigators, using counterfeit documents, were able to enter the United States with enough radioactive sources in the trunks of their vehicles to make two dirty bombs. GAO investigators were able to successfully represent themselves as employees of a fictitious company present a counterfeit bill of lading and a counterfeit NRC document during the secondary inspections at both locations. The CBP inspectors never questioned the authenticity of the investigators' counterfeit bill of lading or the counterfeit NRC document authorizing them to receive, acquire, possess, and transfer radioactive sources.

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