On January 8, the German government announced legislation that would permit electronic surveillance of individual homes. The law permits eavesdropping by police after obtaining permission from the courts. Since WWII, Germany has had very strict regulations on invasion of personal privacy by the government. Personal data protection laws have been in place since 1970. Since 1994 telephone wiretaps have been legal. The current law would allow the placement of listening devices under much broader circumstances than previously. Journalists are concerned about implications for freedom of the press, while law enforcement officials are encouraged about an increased ability to combat organized crime.