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Highlights of the 9/11 Commission security bill

Congress approved legislation Friday to intensify anti-terror efforts in the U.S. Following is a list of what the legislation would do if signed into law by President Bush.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Congress approved legislation Friday to intensify anti-terror efforts in the U.S.

The measure carries out major recommendations of the independent 9/11 Commission.

If signed into law by President Bush, the legislation would:

  • Change the formula for a state security grant program so that more funds go to areas designated as high risk.
  • Create a new program to fund and promote communications compatibility among local, state and federal officials.
  • Authorize more than $4 billion over four years for rail, transit and bus security.
  • Require the Department of Homeland Security to screen all cargo on passenger aircraft within three years.
  • Require the screening of all container ships in foreign ports within five years, but give the Homeland Security secretary authority to delay implementation.
  • Establish a new electronic travel authorization system to improve security for visitors from countries participating in the visa waiver program.
  • Strengthen a board that oversees privacy and civil liberties issues.
  • Establish a voluntary certification program to assess whether private entities comply with voluntary preparedness standards.
  • Require the president and Congress to disclose total spending requested and approved for the intelligence community.
  • Provide civil immunity to those who, in good faith, report suspicious activities that threaten the safety and security of passengers on a transportation system or that could be an act of terrorism.