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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 and 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.

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References in periodicals archive ?
While the ruling wasn't directly related to the USA Patriot Act, the court did send a message concerning its intention to protect customer privacy for bookstore patrons.
The Administration's post-9-11 policies and new provisions of the USA Patriot Act once again raise the specter of ideological exclusion: denial of entry and deportation solely on the basis of Constitutionally-protected speech and association that is disfavored by the U.S.
* Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act, which broadens the types of
It fails to restore checks and balances taken away by the USA PATRIOT Act.
No less than a dozen separate bills proposing extensions, modifications, or reauthorization of the USA PATRIOT Act are currently before Congress.
Bigha, a small manufacturer in Oregon, defended its reputation because a customer faces prison under the USA Patriot Act. David Banach, of New Jersey, was charged with using his Jasper - a hand held laser device that emits a green beam of light - to point at planes flying over his house.
While U.S.-based activists have mobilized around the draconian USA PATRIOT ACT, Roy points out that other countries have followed the U.S.'s legislative lead.
He has responsibility for all legal matters affecting retail banking including mortgage, home equity, credit and debit cards, privacy, the Community Reinvestment Act, e-commerce, and the USA Patriot Act. Mr.
Tim Butz, director of the Nebraska state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, said that two state troopers tried to intimidate him after he screened Unconstitutional: The War on Our Civil Liberties, a documentary that criticizes the USA Patriot Act, reports AP.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon will hold the Lane County premiere of "Unconstitutional," a documentary about how the USA Patriot Act has affected civil liberties and law enforcement, tonight at the University of Oregon School of Law.