Public SAFETY Can Bring Private Safety

The Regulations To Support Anti-Terrorism By Fostering Effective Technologies (the SAFETY Act) was passed as part of the Homeland Security Act to encourage potential manufacturers or sellers of anti-terrorism technologies (ATTs) to develop and sell technologies that could reduce the risk or mitigate the effects of large-scale terrorist events by limiting legal liabilities that might otherwise be faced by such developers and sellers for injuries and losses sustained in an act of terrorism. The Act creates certain liability limitations for “claims arising out of, relating to, or resulting from an act of terrorism” where qualified ATTs have been deployed. The Act does not limit liability for harms caused by ATTs when no act of terrorism has occurred.

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Putting Sports on Notice

The statistics regarding violence at school and other amateur sporting events have been cited regularly in the media — yet violence at those events continues unabated. A bench-clearing melee at a college football game on November 20, 2004, served as an exclamation point to the horrendous violence involving spectators and players at an NBA basketball game on November 19th. The television re-runs of the incident, and the action taken by the NBA against the offending players, speaks for itself. It is time for every parent, if not every prospective spectator of an organized athletic event, to consider the wisdom of attending contests that have become as much about the egos of the fans as about the players.

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The Responsible Use Of Terrorism Intelligence

The fact that al Qaeda terrorists developed specific plans for the targeting of several financial institutions for acts of terrorism is significant for anti-terrorism planning — regardless of the age of the information. The question is not whether the intelligence should be disregarded because it was three or four years old , but rather what the appropriate response should be. Differences in opinion over the wisdom and motivation of the information release aside, attention must be focused on how to respond to threats of terrorism believed to be legitimate; whether there is any real value in a show of force; and what long term impact will such information have upon the designated target(s), and upon society.

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Do You Fear the Terminal More Than the Flight?

I arrived at the terminal at Portland International Airport (PDX) recently at 5:00 a.m. for a 6:00 a.m. departure for Kennedy Airport by way of Salt Lake City. Having an electronic ticket, a seat assignment, no baggage to check and my elite passenger card for the express lane to security, I figured I would have plenty of time for my flight. Despite the longest lines I have ever seen at PDX, I was at the gate at 5:25 AM. When I called my home in Portland that night, I learned that the lines at PDX that morning were even longer than usual for a Monday morning: The usual wait was up to an hour and a half to get through security. Most passengers flying out of Portland yesterday on the early morning fights had a very long day.

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