9-11 bill signals sweeping security reforms

9/11 Commission Report Implementation Act of 2004

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On their first day back from summer recess Sept. 7, a bipartisan group of senators introduced sweeping legislation to overhaul the intelligence community.

The bill, known as the 9-11 Commission Report Implementation Act of 2004, would put a single director in charge of all intelligence activities and create a National Counterterrorism Center that would collect and analyze overseas and domestic data for information about future terrorist attacks.

Additionally, lawmakers held several hearings last week on how to support law enforcement officials and other first responders with more funding, training and technologies, such as electronic eavesdropping, information sharing, radio spectrum and interoperable communications.

Some security problems persist, such as the lack of intelligence sharing among officials at different levels of government and first responders' inability to communicate via certain radio frequencies during emergencies. These decades-old problems came to center stage after nearly 3,000 people, including hundreds of firefighters and police officers, died in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. But the problems are getting noticed now, some public safety officials say.

"The most striking difference is that the first time I talked about interoperability 10 years ago, the response I got was: 'Interopera

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