Ports Withholding Security Data

Many countries do not want to list which of their ports are in compliance with ISPS, because it might alert terrorists what targets are vulnerable.

Frank Wall of the International Maritime Organization, the U.N.'s maritime agency, said, "Ports are saying that when we produce a list of compliant ports, it must be comprehensive and indicate that everyone is secure. A premature list would provide targeting for terrorists."

Mr. Wall says IMO has little knowledge of the security at international ports.

"We know less about ports than we do about ships. Only about five or six countries have actually posted their information on the IMO website," Wall said.

Only 34 of the world's 15,000 ports have been certified as secure by IMO. This means that 483 ports must be approved each day for the next 30 days for the world to meet its target deadline.