Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004

Monday, December 20, 2004
President Bush signed into law the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (S. 2845). The major emphasis of the legislation is reform of the U.S. intelligence organization. Other measures, though, may impact the maritime community. The Secretary of Homeland Security is directed to prepare a National Strategy for Transportation Security. This document is identify and evaluate transportation assets (including maritime) in the United States that must be protected from attack or disruption and develop a risk-based priority addressing those security needs. Also, the Secretary is to promulgate a rule requiring operators of cruise ships to provide passenger and crew information so that the Department can develop a “watch list” program similar to that utilized by airlines. The problem is that the definition of “cruise ship” is so broad as to include any vessel on an international voyage that embarks or disembarks passengers in the United States. This provision has the potential to capture recreational vessels and small charter boats. One wonders whether, in the last minute rush to coble this bill together, the members of Congress actually knew what this provision entailed. (HK Law)

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