/ 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.