Terrorism: September 9, 2002


US Security officials plan to use a $15 "electronic padlock" developed by the Pentagon to improve security for cargo containers entering this country from abroad. The problem is that there are millions of these containers and less than two percent undergo any kind of inspection. Worse, security at many foreign points of origin is lax to non-existent. The idea is to inspect the containers as they are loaded abroad, then seal them with the electronic padlock. If the container is tampered with, the padlock radios its electronic identification number (and hence the cargo container number) to US customs officials.--Stephen V Cole


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