Ridge promises IT opportunities

Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge asked high-tech companies to keep making suggestions about technology solutions for securing the nation's borders and ports.

"Technology allows us to spot patterns of risk," Ridge said. "Risk management is at the very heart of homeland security."

One element of risk management that Ridge called for was the development of "reliable behavior indicators" that could spot people who might be terrorist suspects. These could be used in conjunction with other screening systems in place, such as the checks being run on airline ticket holders, to minimize the disruption to regular travelers, he said.

Some time later this year, the department will unveil a new tracking system for foreign visitors to the country, Ridge said. Originally dubbed the INS Entry-Exit System, the Visitor and Immigrant Status Indication Technology system, or VISIT, will use biometrics to allow legitimate travelers to enter the country while seeking out those deemed a threat.


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