DHS won’t require screening for every US-bound cargo container

The Homeland Security Department is backing off its mandate that by 2012, all United States-bound cargo containers must be screened from their port of exit, according to the Homeland Security Newswire.

Speaking at the Rotterdam, Netherlands, port, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano said she questioned the ability to scan 100 percent of cargo containers destined for the United States. A 2007 law that requires such screening gives the department the option of postponing the mandate if DHS officials don’t think it’s an achievable goal, according to the Homeland Security Newswire.

Napolitano said DHS prefers a layered approach that features international cooperation and better intelligence sharing, according to the article.

About the Author

Connect with the FCW staff on Twitter @FCWnow.

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.


  • Shutterstock image: looking for code.

    How DOD embraced bug bounties -- and how your agency can, too

    Hack the Pentagon proved to Defense Department officials that outside hackers can be assets, not adversaries.

  • Shutterstock image: cyber defense.

    Why PPD-41 is evolutionary, not revolutionary

    Government cybersecurity officials say the presidential policy directive codifies cyber incident response protocols but doesn't radically change what's been in practice in recent years.

  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

Reader comments

Tue, Jun 28, 2011 Fed Employee not on your life

"DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano said she questioned the ability to scan 100 percent of cargo containers destined for the United States." Maybe if she skips 90 year old elderly passengers Depends garments they could. Like she says (to passengers), no check - no fly. What a concept. You can't have it both ways baby. Oh, I forgot, you make the rules.

Tue, Jun 28, 2011 Mimi CO Springs

So I won't have to be x-rayed or patted down or stripped of undergarments if I travel in a cargo container? Why can DHS relax their security for cargo, but still require a great-granny to remove her wet diaper? DHS should apply "national" cooperation and better intelligence sharing to US citizens, as well. Idiots!

Tue, Jun 28, 2011

Even if they had the resources, which they never will, 100% check was never an actual option. International trade would grind to a halt. All you can do is all you can do- checks will be limited to the ones that 'smell' wrong, and a random sample of the others. I think they are running about a 2% check rate right now- 5% would be nice.

Tue, Jun 28, 2011 Greg Georgia

Sampling cargo containers, what a concept... Maybe it will catch on at the airport!

Tue, Jun 28, 2011

What happened to "Trust But Verify"?

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group