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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 ?
Makes permanent 14 of the 16 expiring USA PATRIOT Act sections as well as the material support of terrorism amendments scheduled to expire on December 31, 2006.
The Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act, a subset of the USA PATRIOT Act, regulates the possession, use, and transfer of biological materials, including those at research institutes.
In response to criticism, Ashcroft recently toured the country to defend the USA Patriot Act and other legislation passed after 9/11.
It's important for states to work with the USA Patriot Act Compliance Ad Hoc Task Force when developing forms and programs to comply with federal anti-money laundering requirements, or else their efforts will be counterproductive, the group told members of the industry June 23.
The new Department of Homeland Security and the USA Patriot Act represent an enormous restructuring and centralizing of power.
It also announced it will offer a complete suite of USA PATRIOT Act compliance services as real-time, Web-based, stand-alone services for any entity, including multifamily properties, that requires identity verification for fraud searches to block potential criminal access to lending and credit-granting resources.
The CIRAS software is used by financial institutions to comply with `Know Your Customer' requirements detailed in the USA PATRIOT Act, Section 326.
CCH Guide to Anti--Money Laundering and Bank Secrecy: Compliance with the USA Patriot Act is a softbound volume produced by CCH, Inc.
One way the USA Patriot Act mutes the nation's once-free press
Many critics have pointed out that the United States has discriminated against Arabs in applying the terrorist exclusion provisions of the INA even before the passage of the most recent anti-terrorism legislation, the USA Patriot Act.
1389 respectively, (5) which made permanent 14 of the 16 expiring USA PATRIOT Act sections and extended the sunset on section 206 (regarding FISA court orders for multipoint, or "roving," wiretaps) and section 215 (access to business records requested under FISA), as well as the sunset on section 6001(a) of IRTPA.