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example, law enforcers might need health data to assess a situation, but
reviewing patients™ medical records is extraordinarily invasive. Pattern
recognition technology should, therefore, be able to focus on broad data
aggregations but on no one speci¬cally. For example, if there are health
databases that preclude identi¬cation of individuals, law enforcers could
less intrusively assess whether there is a threat to public security. In rare
situations involving a full-scale public health emergency that poses a grave
risk to society, there should be already emplaced procedures for linking
generic data to individual identities pursuant to judicial approval and
Worldwide, far too little is known about bioscience. Even rudimentary
pattern recognition applications cannot be effective today. Volumes of
data are produced about the products of biological research including
food additives, pesticides, and pharmaceuticals. However, there are not
stringent data collection and analysis systems for basic science, assertedly
because strict governmental oversight would be prohibitively expensive
and would chill creativity.21 As a result, however, a key tool for interdicting
covert criminality on the path to bioviolence is unavailable.


r Two now-disbanded data-mining initiatives for combating terrorism were: 1) the
Terrorism Information Awareness (TIA) conducted by the Defense Advanced
Research Projects Agency (DARPA); and 2) the Transportation Security Admin-
istration™s (TSA) Computer-Assisted Passenger Prescreening System II (CAPS II).
The TIA program, shut down in September 2003, envisioned a centralized national
database for information from government and commercial databases including
bank records, tax returns, driver™s license data, credit card purchases, airline tick-
ets, gun purchases, work permits, etc. The scope of the initiative led to a public
outcry that soon brought it to a close. The CAPPS II program was halted in August
2004 after legal challenges and implementation issues, including the European
Union™s refusal to provide data due to concerns about privacy.
r Following TIA came the Multistate Anti-Terrorism Information Exchange (MATRIX),
a government-funded but privately run antiterrorist initiative combining informa-
tion from government and commercial databases “ credit histories, driver™s license
photographs, marriage and divorce records, social security numbers, dates of birth,
names and addresses of family members, along with neighbors and business asso-
ciates “ to aid law enforcement in searching for anomalies. Like TIA, the program
came under heavy ¬re from groups concerned with privacy and civil liberties issues
and was terminated in April 2005.
r The Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) and the International Trade Data
System (ITDS) are used by customs to track cargo movements.
r The Custom and Border Protection™s (CBP) Container Security Initiative (CSI) is
a security regime to ensure all containers that pose a potential risk for terrorism
are identi¬ed and inspected at foreign ports before they are placed on vessels
bound for the United Sates. It relies on the National Targeting Center (NTC) to
evaluate shipments™ risk, and it ¬‚ags certain high-risk containers for inspection
before entering the United States.
r The Department of Homeland Security has launched Operation Safe Commerce
(OSC) to tighten dangerous gaps in shipping security; the OSC proposes greater
third-party oversight of containers at all ports, through the use of video cameras
and biometric information. It uses multiple technologies to verify that container
seals have remained intact and to verify the identity of drivers and overseers of
shipments in order to build greater con¬dence in their reliability.
a CAPS II is being replaced by a new program called Secure Flight. See generally, Data Mining:
16, 2004). See also, Willard Price, Reducing the Risk of Terror Events at Seaports, REVIEW OF
POLICY RESEARCH,Vol. 21, p. 329 (May 1, 2004); See also, CSI in Brief, U.S. Customs & Border
Protection (February 15, 2006).

A pattern recognition system is needed that is global in scope and can
overcome the past obstacles associated with data mining and broad coun-
terterrorism efforts: the use of data that is too general, too obvious, or
incomplete. Yet, enormous complications attend implementing pattern
recognition techniques internationally if only because no one is authori-
tatively designated to gather and analyze information. Moreover, even if a
system could be effectively designed to detect potential bioviolence prepa-
rations worldwide, who would (or even could) take appropriate action to
interdict those preparations™ successful execution?
The Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission22 (see Box 5-3) has pro-
posed a system to increase transparency in transfers of biological materials
and equipment. This proposal is to accredit entities engaging in such trans-
fers and, working with States™ export control authorities, aggregate data of
transfers. The Commission anticipates that, in time, patterns will emerge
and anomalies can be detected. Those anomalies should provoke con-
sultations and a request for clari¬cation. If no satisfactory explanation is
given, then an inspection might be appropriate depending on the nature
and seriousness of the anomaly. It is critical, according to the Commis-
sion, to centralize information about transfers precisely to enable pattern
recognition at the international level. International authorization would
also be mandatory both to investigate anomalies and to assist States that
want to participate in the system.
Because not every State will participate and provide information to a
central database, the Commission would require suppliers (who presum-
ably are citizens of participating States) to provide extensive information
about recipients. Then, relevant of¬cials of both the supplier and recipi-
ent States would have to approve transfers. The supplier State could try to
verify the items™ proposed use or impose limitations on the transfer. The
dif¬culties increase if the transfer is between two non-accredited units;
there would have to be other sources of data with regard to these transfers.
Obviously, the more States and economic units that choose to participate,
the easier this task would be. The Commission left unresolved the question
of how to impel all States to participate in the system “ a potentially fatal
¬‚aw if advanced States do not participate.

Transport Security and Counter-Smuggling
The transnational traf¬c in pathogens offers substantial opportunities for
bio-offenders to gain lethal capabilities and to move those capabilities
to their eventual targets. This traf¬c also offers substantial opportunities


The WMD Commission was established in 2003 to set forth realistic proposals
for reducing WMD proliferation. Its mandate is to foster public debate concerning
weapons of mass destruction, including reaching out to nongovernmental organiza-
tions and other elements of civil society. Chaired and organized by Dr. Hans Blix, the
Commission is comprised of fourteen members and operates as an independent body.
Its members serve without instruction from any government or organization, and it
disavows participating in any governmental or intergovernmental negotiation.
The WMD Commission released its report, Weapons of Terror, on June 1, 2006. It con-
tains sixty proposals. Its recommendations concerning biological and toxin weapons
include the following:
r All States not yet party to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) should adhere
to the Convention. The States that are parties to the Convention should launch
a campaign to achieve universal adherence by the time of the Seventh Review
Conference to be held in 2011.
r To achieve universal adoption of national legislation and regulations aimed at full
and effective implementation of the BWC, the States parties should offer technical
assistance and promote best-practice models of such legislation. As a part of the
con¬dence-building process and in order to promote transparency and harmo-
nization, all States parties should make annual biological-weapon-related national
declarations and make them public.
r States parties to the BWC should enhance the investigatory powers of the United
Nations Secretary-General, ensuring that the Secretary-General can rely upon a
regularly updated roster of experts, advice from the World Health Organization,
and a specialist unit, which is to be modeled on the United Nations Monitoring,
Veri¬cation and Inspection Commission, to assist in investigating unusual outbreaks
of disease and allegations of the use of biological weapons.
r States parties to the BWC should establish a standing secretariat to handle organi-
zational and administrative matters related to the Treaty, such as review conferences
and expert meetings.
r Governments should pursue public health surveillance to ensure effective mon-
itoring of unusual disease outbreaks and develop practical methods of coordi-
nating international responses to any major event that might involve bioweapons.
They should strengthen cooperation between civilian health and security-oriented
authorities at the national, regional, and global levels, including in the framework
of the new International Health Regulations of the World Health Organization. Gov-
ernments should also review their national biosafety and biosecurity measures to
protect public health and the environment from the release of biological and toxin
materials. They should harmonize national biosecurity standards.

SOURCE: New Proposals to Reduce Threats by Weapons of Mass Destruction, Weapons of Mass
Destruction Commission Press Release (June 1, 2006).


The Commission continues to operate through consultations with governments and
international organizations to promote the report™s recommendations. It plans to issue
a follow-up report in 2007.

for law enforcers to interdict bioviolence. From either perspective, it is
imperative to consider how modes of transport can be secure against
wrongful diversion and how smuggled pathogens can be intercepted.
Of all aspects of bioviolence prevention, transport oversight is where
international and regional organizations, supported by many States, have
most positively developed potent control measures. It is also where pat-
tern recognition techniques are most advanced. This might best explain
why catastrophic bioviolence has not yet happened. There is an impor-
tant lesson here: progress has been achieved to complicate transna-
tional biosmuggling with measures that provoked objections (ultimately
unsuccessful) based on national sovereignty. As that progress is likely
contributing to bioviolence prevention, serious consideration should be
given to extending international controls in other potentially bene¬cial
ways and similarly discounting protests of trespassing against sovereign
It is useful to think of transport security and counter-smuggling efforts
as a series of three overlaying control mechanisms. First are packaging
and labeling standards that are designed to protect critical items from
theft and diversion. Second, there are container shipping and port moni-
toring systems that are designed to enable detection of critical items that
someone might try to move covertly. Third, there are intrusive activities
that are designed to ferret out smuggled items when there is a basis for sus-

Packaging and Labeling
WHO regulations require that pathogens be shipped in a triple packaging
system. Pathogens must be stored in a watertight, leakproof, and appropri-
ately labeled primary container that is suf¬ciently absorbent to withstand
a potential spill. The secondary packaging provides the same protection
for multiple primary containers. The third layer should protect the pri-
mary receptacle and secondary packaging against damage during ship-
ment and should have documentation identifying the pathogen, its source,
and its destination. The packaging must be tamperproof against removal

of its contents.23 These straightforward regulations are well-observed and
Proper labeling is necessary so that package handlers know that its
contents are dangerous. Here is where problems can arise. Proper labeling
reveals the package™s contents to any malevolent thief. Another problem
is that WHO guidance has the perverse effect of showing counterfeit dis-
patchers how to send illicit goods to counterfeit recipients in what seems to
be a properly labeled package. These two problems call for more discrete
labeling processes (e.g., invisible bar codes); only authorized personnel
using specialized equipment should be able to identify legitimate ship-
pers and know the package™s lethal contents. There is an unfortunate irony
here. The WHO issued packaging and labeling requirements in order to
promote easy and transparent compliance for preventing accidents, but
malevolent actors can take advantage of that transparency. Today, inter-
national standards must be more intricate and opaque to reduce misuse.
Transporters and handlers who move a package to its destination must
be quali¬ed to observe the encoded labels™ markings that distinguish
lethal pathogens. No longer should just anyone toss a carton on a truck or
ship. Those transporters and handlers must be certi¬ably trained. Checks
should be run for illicit connections to malevolent groups lest their knowl-
edge and access combine to divert sensitive packages “ imagine Al Qaeda
personnel working in legitimate ports.
In this context, global uniformity is a paramount priority. All trans-
porters whether in aviation or maritime shipping should obey the same
standards. Logically, therefore, a United Nations body “ the United Nations
Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (UNCETDG),
advised by WHO “ issues Model Regulations for the Transport of Danger-
ous Goods24 that de¬ne global standards. Most States have adopted these
standards, and relevant international shipping organizations such as the
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)25 enforce them. This is
effective global governance.

Shipping Security
Despite packaging and labeling standards, risks remain due to the sheer
quantity of items shipped in international commerce. Pathogens are
essentially invisible. Although scanning technology is improving, it is
extremely unlikely that a currently operational scanner will perceive a
microscopic agent that has been slipped into one of the over 250 million
containers that move through global commerce per year.26 A grim joke is
that if bin Laden wants to move lethal pathogens around the world, he

could put them into a container of illegal drugs with con¬dence that no
customs control agent would ever ¬nd them.
No prophylactic solution exists, but much can be done to complicate
smuggling. The integrity of containers must be maintained so that bad
actors do not have ready access. Improved tamperproof seals can prevent
offenders from sneaking agents into a container as it is being loaded onto
a ship or after it has left the port. Sophisticated monitoring systems can
alert ship and port authorities if a container is breached. The objective is
deterrence as well as detection. A biosmuggler who faces a signi¬cant risk
of getting caught might not want to challenge the system.
The system of global shipping security is very sophisticated. Two inter-
national organizations “ the International Maritime Organization (IMO)
and the World Customs Organization (WCO) “ have developed intricate
operating procedures known as the International Ship and Port Facility
Security (ISPS) Code.27 Transporters and port operators must assess their
security measures, establish a security plan, designate agencies to execute
the plan, and establish training programs for personnel who carry out the
plan. Every shipper must display on each ship an International Ship Secu-
rity Certi¬cate that manifests compliance with the plan™s requirements.28
Every port operator must develop a Port Facility Security Plan (PFSP) to
restrict access to particularly sensitive areas and to docked ships. The
PFSP should specify procedures for handling a breach of security or an
actual attack, including evacuation guidelines and how to notify proper
The IMO publishes the list of ports and ships that satisfy these security
standards thereby alerting governments as to which vessels pose the great-
est risks. Complying shippers can move through port inspections more
expeditiously “ an inducement for everyone to comply. Although these


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