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A bill to provide for the next generation of border and maritime security technologies.

Bill Summary and Status

Passed the Full Committee by voice vote on February 27, 2008 as an amendment in the nature of a substitute, as amended.

Cleared the Technology and Innovation Subcommittee by voice vote on February 7, 2008

Introduced in the House October 22, 2007


Sectional Summary

Section 1: Requires the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T) to clearly define the operational requirements of technologies they are developing for Customs and Border Patrol and other end-users. These 1-3 year product development projects are part of the Transition portfolio at DHS S&T and comprise the bulk of research and development spending ( approximately 70 percent).

Section 2: Extends the S&T Advisory Committee, which was last extended through December 31st, 2008 in the SAFE Ports Act of 2006. Currently S&T is appointing new members and has recently begun new meetings. The Committee briefly lapsed in November 2005. Further extends the Advisory Committee through December 31, 2012.

Section 3: Calls for an NRC study to provide a roadmap for research activities in the border/maritime division.

Section 4: Reminds DHS of their role as a potential operator of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in the national airspace and directs them to continue their work in the Joint Planning and Development Office accordingly. Currently, operation of UAVs in national airspace requires considerable advance planning and approval from the Federal Aviation Administration. Requires DHS to seek the ability to routinely and safely operate UAVs for border and maritime security missions. Authorizes DHS to take part in pilot projects to obtain whatever data is necessary to make an informed decision about how UAVs can be safely included in the airspace.

Section 5: Requires DHS to create a formal research program in the area of tunnel detection, and to coordinate with similar DoD activities. Calls for priority to be given to technologies that would allow real-time detection of tunnels and would allow for immediate action by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers.

Section 6: Requires the Under Secretary for S&T and Director of NIST to begin a joint R&D project of anti-counterfeit technologies and standards. Furthermore, this designee is charged with coordinating research activities with other federal agencies engaged in related research. Requires a report to Congress on the research programs undertaken under this section one year after enactment.

110th Congress