10/31/2007 - Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has introduced a bill (H.R. 3199) that would make the controversial provisions of the Patriot Act permanent. (These parts of the bill are set to expire at the end of the year.) For example, the bill would allow the FBI to obtain, without seeking a warrant, the financial records of individuals. It would also maintain the power of law enforcement to carry out secret warrants and covert surveillance as part of terrorism investigations. However, the bill does not provide law enforcement as much latitude as S. 1266, which was approved by the Senate Intelligence Committee in June. For example, S. 1266 would make it easier for police to issue subpoenas without judicial approval in terrorism cases.
10/11/2007 - A bill (formerly S.B. 453) signed into law by Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen will require that, when responding to an alarm, monitoring companies attempt to contact the property owner twice—by telephone or other electronic means—to determine whether an alarm is valid before dispatching police. Tennessee is the second state to enact such a law. Florida passed a similar measure last year.