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Tuesday, April 20th, 2021

DHS S&T grants liability protections for thousandth anti-terrorism technology

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Legislation enacted in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to shield developers of anti-terrorism technologies from liability has now resulted in more than 1,000 innovative breakthroughs that enhance public safety, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science & Technology Directorate (S&T) announced on Monday.

The Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies (SAFETY) Act enables DHS S&T to ensure that the developers of approved anti-terrorism technologies will not face legal liability for developing, deploying or commercializing technologies that meet specific criteria.

“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,” William Bryan, the senior official performing the duties of the DHS under secretary for science and technology, said. “The program is designed to mitigate risk, so these important technologies can be put to use and potentially save lives.”

When determining Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technologies, S&T considers whether technology has been previously proven effective in preventing terrorism, whether it’s available for immediate deployment, whether there’s a likelihood that the technology could be deployed without SAFETY Act protections, whether capabilities of the technology can be assessed scientifically, and whether the technology defends against terrorism.

“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,” Bruce Davidson, the director of S&T’s Office of Safety Act Implementation (OSAI), said. “The thousandth approval commemorates expansion of the program, not just because of quantity, but quality of anti-terrorism security capabilities and technologies.”

Most recently, the Bloomberg Corporate Headquarters Security Program, the Soldier Field Security Program for SMG and the Chicago Park District, and Boeing’s Wave Glider have been deemed Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technologies.