04.04.08

Cargo Security: Container Security Initiative: is it working and at what cost?

Copyright DRI 2008

Following September 11, the United States Customs and Border Protection ("CBP") agency was charged with the mission of developing anti-terrorism programs to help secure U.S. borders.[1] One threat identified by the agency is containers manipulated for the purpose of terrorist attacks. Approximately 108 million cargo containers ship 90% of the world's manufactured good each year.[2] Authorities fear that these containers would be used by terrorists to carry explosive devices, contaminated food, chemical agents or other weapons.[3] To address this specific threat to border security, the CBP created the Container Security Initiative ("CSI"). The CSI is a multinational program charged with protecting containerized shipping from terrorist manipulation.[4] The CBP's authority is unique in that examination of cargo and persons does not require search warrants, probable cause or particularized suspicion.[5]

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