RealNews

Certified To Fight Terrorism

Len M. Henrikson, 59, of Roseburg, Ore., is using the Web to sell a plastic air-filtering and pressuring system designed to wipe out toxins in the event of a terrorist attack. He’s sold $250,000 worth over the past five months. But he has a problem: His American Safe Room can’t get liability coverage from insurers. Now, Henrikson thinks he’s hit on a solution: Get the new federal Department of Homeland Security to protect him legally by awarding his product its seal of approval. He’s not alone. Thousands of businesses are lining up to take advantage of a provision in the Homeland Security Act of 2002 that instructed DHS to begin certifying antiterrorism products and services on Sept. 1. How many of these products will actually help prevent or counter terrorism? Not all, of course, but companies have an incentive to get questionable products through if they can: Certified products will enjoy protection from liability suits–similar to the protection defense contractors get–when they are purchased by the 22 federal agencies under DHS, or by other state and local employees fighting terrorism. Even better, lawyers say this good-homeland-keeping seal of approval should also provide at least some defense in private suits. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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