DHS teaches lawsuit protection

Homeland Security Department officials will hold a series of seminars nationwide to explain to potential vendors how to get certified to limit their liability for the anti-terrorism technology they develop and sell to the federal government.

Under the Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies Act of 2002 (SAFETY Act), companies are encouraged to develop anti-terrorism technologies with the promise they would face limited liability risks.

But the law comes with some strings attached. Limited liability will be extended only for specific new technologies, and vendors must receive government certification for their products ahead of time.

"This is not for technologies already out there being used," said DHS spokeswoman Michelle Petrovich. This is for very specific technologies that don't already exist."

The move is intended to encourage companies to work toward developing anti-terror technologies quickly without fear they would be sued if the products did not work and people were killed in a terrorist attack.

Top officials from the department's Science and Technology Directorate will host the seminars, which will be held in the following cities:

Sept. 22: Dallas, at the Dallas Marriott Quorum Hotel.

Sept. 23: Los Angeles, at the Renaissance Los Angeles.

Sept. 24: Atlanta, at the Marriott Marquis Hotel.

Sept. 26: Chicago, at the Marriott O'Hare Hotel.

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