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[Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorists], 2001, U.S. federal law intended to give federal authorities increased abilities to combat international and domestic terrorism. Quickly enacted with little opposition in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade CenterWorld Trade Center,
former building complex in lower Manhattan, New York City, consisting of seven buildings and a shopping concourse on a 16-acre (6.5-hectare) site; it was destroyed by a terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001.
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 and PentagonPentagon, the,
building accommodating the U.S. Dept. of Defense. Located in Arlington, Va., across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., the Pentagon is a vast five-sided building designed by Los Angeles architect G. Edwin Bergstrom.
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, the USA PATRIOT Act primarily enlarged the powers of federal law-enforcement and intelligence-gathering agencies when dealing with terror crimes, but sections of the extensive bill also apply to criminal acts generally. The number of terror-related offenses was also increased, and reporting requirements, crimes, and penalties associated with money laundering were expanded.

Civil libertarians, librarians, and others have protested changes made by the act that have the potential to lead to law-enforcement abuses, including reduced judicial oversight of wiretaps, expanded law-enforcement access to records held by third-party businesses and organizations, and an ambiguously broadened definition of providing material support to terrorists. Such concerns have been partly prompted by the fact that the USA PATRIOT Act was designed in part to reduce restrictions enacted in response to abuses of government power associated with Watergate, anti–Vietnam War protesters, civil-rights groups, and the like.

These worries contributed to the vocal opposition in 2003 to the Bush administration's draft Domestic Security Enhancement Act, an expansion of the USA PATRIOT Act that ultimately was not submitted to Congress. Similarly, the renewal of those sections of the act slated to expire at the end of 2005 became contentious enough that opponents in the Senate were able to stall legislation to make them permanent, but after some modifications were made to the act in 2006, the act was renewed and most sections became permanent.

Leaks in 2013 by Edward SnowdenSnowden, Edward Joseph,
1983–, American computer systems administrator and antigovernment activist, b. Elizabeth City, N.C. Snowden worked for the Central Intelligence Agency from 2007 and then (2009) for private contractors working for the National Security Agency.
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 revealed that the act had been used to authorize the mass collection of telecommunications records by the National Security Agency; a federal appeals court ruled (2015) that such data collection with respect to domestic telephone calls was not permitted by the law. The USA FREEDOM Act (Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ending Eavesdropping, Dragnet-collection and Online Monitoring; 2015) subsequently altered that section of the USA PATRIOT Act, ending mass data collection by the NSA, and requiring a court order to review such records held by telecommunications companies. Other aspects of the law have been challenged in the courts, with varying results.

References in periodicals archive ?
The suite of offerings covers a range of BSA & US Patriot Act Compliance, Enterprise Fraud Management, and Know Your Customer solutions.
Appendices include the National Security Act and a summary of the beleaguered US Patriot Act.
Whether a firm is addressing MiFID in the EU, the US Patriot Act, the emerging AML regulations in Australia and South America, fraud detection and identity theft prevention, or all of them, Mantas 4.
Among the specific issues discussed were the role of the Casa de Cambio for anonymous bank transfers, the role of sentencing in deterring white collar crime, and the US Patriot Act.
The IBT and Viisage solutions help organizations to comply with mandates outlined by federal security regulations, such as the US PATRIOT Act requirement that commercial drivers transporting hazardous materials must undergo background screening.
a leading provider of regulatory compliance solutions for financial institutions, today announced that NorCrown Bank of Livingston, NJ, will implement OFAC Reporter, BSA Reporter and EDD Reporter as part of the safeguards needed in place to adhere to the mandates enforced by the US Patriot Act.
On the anti-money laundering (AML) front, Mantas is preparing its clients for Section 314(a) of the US Patriot Act as well as the advent of the 3rd Money Laundering Directive in Europe.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of this technology set is not only for US PATRIOT Act compliance but rather this enables a corporation to improve its corporate governance well past that required by law.
North America is dealing with SOX and US Patriot Act, whilst a large part of European institutions IT spends is focused on Basel II.
The FpVTE project was launched as part of the US Patriot Act to certify biometric technologies that may be used in the U.