S 505

112th CONGRESS
1st Session

S. 505

To amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to provide immunity for reports of suspected terrorist activity or suspicious behavior and response.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

March 8, 2011

Ms. COLLINS (for herself and Mr. LIEBERMAN) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


A BILL

To amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to provide immunity for reports of suspected terrorist activity or suspicious behavior and response.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `See Something, Say Something Act of 2011'.

SEC. 2. AMENDMENT TO THE HOMELAND SECURITY ACT OF 2002.

    (a) In General- Subtitle H of title VIII of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 451 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

`SEC. 890A. IMMUNITY FOR REPORTS OF SUSPECTED TERRORIST ACTIVITY OR SUSPICIOUS BEHAVIOR AND RESPONSE.

    `(a) Immunity for Reports of Suspected Terrorist Activity or Suspicious Behavior and Response-

      `(1) IN GENERAL- Any person who, in good faith and based on objectively reasonable suspicion, makes, or causes to be made, a voluntary report of covered activity to an authorized official shall be immune from civil liability under Federal, State, and local law for such report.

      `(2) FALSE REPORTS- Paragraph (1) shall not apply to any report that the person knew to be false or was made with reckless disregard for the truth at the time that the person made that report.

    `(b) Immunity for Response-

      `(1) IN GENERAL- Any authorized official who observes, or receives a report of, covered activity and takes reasonable action in good faith to respond to such activity shall have qualified immunity from civil liability for such action, consistent with applicable law in the relevant jurisdiction. An authorized official as defined by section (d)(1)(A) not entitled to assert the defense of qualified immunity shall nonetheless be immune from civil liability under Federal, State, and local law if such authorized official takes reasonable action, in good faith, to respond to the reported activity.

      `(2) SAVINGS CLAUSE- Nothing in this subsection shall--

        `(A) affect the ability of any authorized official to assert any defense, privilege, or immunity that would otherwise be available; and

        `(B) be construed as affecting any such defense, privilege, or immunity.

    `(c) Attorney Fees and Costs- Any authorized official or other person found to be immune from civil liability under this section shall be entitled to recover from the plaintiff all reasonable costs and attorney fees.

    `(d) Definitions- In this section:

      `(1) AUTHORIZED OFFICIAL- The term `authorized official' means--

        `(A) any officer, employee, or agent of the Federal government with responsibility for preventing, protecting against, disrupting, or responding to a `covered activity'; or

        `(B) any Federal, State, or local law enforcement officer.

      `(2) COVERED ACTIVITY- The term `covered activity' means any suspicious transaction, activity, or occurrence indicating that an individual may be engaging, or preparing to engage, in a violation of law relating to an act of terrorism (as that term is defined in section 3077 of title 18, United States Code).'.

    (b) Amendment to the Table of Contents- The table of contents for the Homeland Security Act of 2002 is amended by inserting at the end of subtitle H of title VIII the following item:

      `Sec. 890A. Immunity for reports of suspected terrorist activity or suspicious behavior and response.'.

END