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by CSO Contributor

U.S. Expands Plan for Inspectors at Foreign Ports; FTC Seeks More Power to Fight Spam; New Rules for Workplace Monitoring in U.K.; Foreigners Flee War-Torn Liberia

Jun 12, 20033 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

U.S. Expands Plan for Inspectors at Foreign Ports

According to a story in The New York Times today, the Bush administration has decided to place teams of American inspectors at major seaports in Muslim nations and other smaller, strategically located foreign ports to prevent terrorists from using cargo containers to smuggle chemical, biological or nuclear weapons into the United States. Senior administration officials said inspectors will use radiation monitors, chemical detectors and other equipment to inspect “high risk” metal cargo containers before they are placed on ships bound for the United States. According to the Times, intelligence agencies report that Al Qaeda has repeatedly used cargo ships to move conventional weapons and explosives, including the explosives used in the 1998 bombings of two American Embassies in East Africa. People, too, have been founding hiding in cargo holds. FTC Seeks More Power to Fight SpamThe Washington Post today. FTC commissioners told House and Senate committees that they need more authority to track spammers across borders and to do so in secrecy for limited periods so that spammers do not shut down operations before investigations bear fruit. Spammers increasingly have moved their operations offshore, to further cloak their identities and evade prosecution. According to the Post, Congress has never passed an anti-spam law, and the FTC joins a growing chorus on Capitol Hill asking lawmakers to deal with a problem that is costing businesses $8 billion to $10 billion a year.

The Federal Trade Commission asked Congress yesterday for broader powers to attack the rapidly growing problem of spam, which new studies show accounts for half of all e-mail traffic, reports

New Rules for Workplace Monitoring in U.K.BBC News today, new rules governing monitoring of employees in the U.K. say that covert surveillance is rarely justified and instead firms should inform workers of the extent they are being watched. The code has been published by the UK’s Information Commissioner to give businesses a clearer idea of their obligations under data protection and human rights legislation. Firms that fail to follow the rules could find themselves in court if they trample on the privacy rights of their workers.

According to a story on the

Foreigners Flee War-Torn, the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) rebel group, which has been fighting President Charles Taylor’s regime for four years, stepped up its offensive in parts of the capital. The evacuees included 170 Lebanese, 103 U.S. nationals, 17 French nationals, 11 Australians, 6 Britons, and “a large number of Africans from 10 different countries” as well as 61 children. AFP quotes U.S. ambassador to Liberia John Blaney, who thanked the French for the evacuation, adding, “U.S. citizens are being evacuated for security reasons but we have not given up on Liberia.” The renewed clashes delayed peace talks between the rebels and the Liberian government, which were due to start in Ghana on Monday. The State Department on Friday ordered nonessential diplomats to leave Liberia as fighting intensified and strongly urged all U.S. citizens in the country to depart.

French troops on Monday evacuated more than 500 foreigners from the war-wracked Liberian capital Monrovia, as continuing battles between rebels and government forces sparked a lightning truce mission by west African mediators. According to an AFP report on the African news portal