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Homeland Security Official Asks For Great Lakes Shippers' Help


Date: January 29, 2004
Source: News Channel 5


CLEVELAND -- Government anti-terrorism efforts and private industry can mutually benefit from sharing information, a special assistant to Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge told Great Lakes shippers Wednesday.

"I think it will be very, very positive for you," Al Martinez-Fonts said at the Coast Guard's annual Marine Community Day for Great Lakes shipping interests. "It's a two-way exchange."

He said information provided by the government can add to efficiency and productivity. He used as an example government analysis to detect patterns in cyber-terrorism threats to private industry.

Martinez-Fonts said private industry should look at security expenses as an investment and encouraged shipping trade organizations to share information specific to their industry.

"Who knows your industry better than you," he asked.
The Homeland Security Department agency directed by Undersecretary for Border and Transportation Security Asa Hutchinson handles about 1.3 billion transactions a year, with each transaction representing a traveler, cargo container or the like, Martinez-Fonts said.

"He cannot afford to be wrong once," Martinez-Fonts said. "The terrorists only have to be right once."

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