Newswise — WASHINGTON — More than 1,000 anti-terrorism technologies have now been approved for coverage under the Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies (SAFETY) Act. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) celebrates a milestone in public safety advancement with recent Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technologies including the Bloomberg Corporate Headquarters Security Program, the Soldier Field Security Program for SMG and the Chicago Park District, and Boeing’s Wave Glider.
“The SAFETY Act encourages widespread innovation and deployment of technology where it might otherwise be hindered by concerns of potential legal liability in the event of a terrorist attack,” said William N. Bryan, Senior Official Performing the Duties of the DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology. “The program is designed to mitigate risk so these important technologies can be put to use and potentially save lives.”
The SAFETY Act was enacted following the September 11, 2001 attacks to ensure threat of liability would not deter the private sector from developing, deploying and commercializing anti-terrorism technologies. Once approved, technologies are provided legal liability protection under the SAFETY Act in events deemed an “acts of terrorism” by the Secretary of DHS.
“It covers a very broad range of anti-terrorism capabilities including products, systems, integrated systems, best practices as well as standards that have anti-terrorism relevance,” said Bruce Davidson, Director of S&T’s Office of Safety Act Implementation (OSAI). “The thousandth approval commemorates expansion of the program, not just because of quantity, but quality of anti-terrorism security capabilities and technologies.”
The SAFETY Act covers different products, services and layered security programs, many deployed at commercial office buildings, airports, prominent high rise buildings and even professional sports venues for Major League Baseball, the National Football League, and the National Basketball Association. Its implementation ensures state of the art technologies are available to support critical infrastructure, ports and borders for the safety of the American public.
“The SAFETY Act program has strong support for the initiatives and missions of DHS operational components and provides lots of activity in support of their missions through technology and capability,” said Davidson, citing agencies such as the National Protection and Programs Directorate, the Transportation Security Administration, and Customs and Border Protection, all made stronger through an incentivized private sector.
For SAFETY Act protections, S&T evaluates anti-terrorism technologies using the following criteria:
- It has been used by the U.S. Government before or otherwise demonstrated its effectiveness.
- It is available for immediate deployment in public and private settings.
- Selling or providing the technology comes at extraordinarily large third-party liability risk.
- There is high likelihood the technology cannot be deployed without SAFETY Act protections.
- The public is at high risk if the technology is not deployed.
- Capabilities of the technology can be assessed through scientific study.
- The technology effectively defends against terrorism.
A full list of SAFETY Act approved technologies is available at www.safetyact.gov