USA Patriot Act

USA Patriot Act is was an Act of Congress that was signed into law on 26th Octomber 2011 by the President of USA by that time George W. Bush. The abbreviations USA PATRIOT stands for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001.Due to both September 11 attacks and the 2001 anthrax attack, the national Congress of USA made a step of passing a registration in order to tighten security controls. Republican Representative Jim Sensenbrenner came up with a law combining provisions on October 23, 2001 from a previously sponsored House bill and a Senate bill which also introduced earlier in that month. The following day on October 24, 2001, the House of Assembly passed it by 357 to 66 and then the next day the Senate passed it by 98 to 1.It was then signed on October 26, 2011 by President George W. Bush.

Those people who are against the law have criticized the authorization of  detentions of new people coming in the country. This permission gave law enforcement officers to search a home or business without the owner’s or the occupant’s consent or knowledge. Therefore it allows the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to search e-mail, telephone and financial records without an order from the court and the expanded access of law enforcement agencies to financial records and business records. After it was passed, several main problems have been raised towards the act and more so the Federal courts have stated it as not constitutional. However, this law was intended to reduce crimes, punish terrorist’s acts in the United States of America and other parts of the world, and improve investigatory tools. Other intended purposes were:-

  • To tighten U.S.A measures to avoid, prosecute and detect international money financing and sponsoring terrorism
  • To provide all necessary elements of the financial services industry and report potential money sponsors
  • To subject  foreign financial institutions, special foreign jurisdiction and  types of accounts or classes of international transactions that can suspect criminal abuse;
  • To tighten measures to avoid use of the U.S.A financial system to gain personally including corrupt foreign officials and facilitate research of stolen assets to the citizens of nations to whom those assets belong.

Amendments of this law

However since its enactment and signing a number of changes or amendments have occurred and passed.Approxiamately four years after it was enacted, the first amendment raised whereby the supporters wanted the sun setting provisions to be made permanent in order to enhance liberty protections. In the beginning of July 2005, the U.S.A Senate proposed reauthorization bill with required changes to several sections of that act. Therefore while the House reauthorization bill kept most of the act’s original language. The two bills were then agreed in a conference committee that the Senators from both the Republican and Democratic parties were criticizing for not considering civil liberty concerns. This bill was then signed to a law on March 9 and 10 by President George Bush.

This bill reauthorized provisions which were provided by USA Patriot Act together with the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Act of 2004. It now created new provisions which were related to death penalty for Terrorists enhancing the issue of security and giving best measures to deal with financing of violence, anti-terrorism creativities, new powers of the secret service and a number of various provisions. The next reauthorization act amended the first reauthorization act and was approved on February 2006.

The first act reauthorized all but only two of the provisions of surveillance procedures that would have expired. Two of the divisions were modified on December 31, 2009 section 206 which was roving wiretap provision and section 215 which allowed access to business records. Section 215 was still adjusted further regardless in order to give better judicial misunderstanding and evaluation. However such guidelines were also controlled to be certified by only the FBI Administrator, FBI Deputy Administrator, or the Managerial Subordinate Administrator for Nationwide Security, and minimization measures were specified to limit the distribution and gathering of such information. However, Section 215 also had a “joke” provision, which was transformed to allow the respondent to communicate with their Advocate.

Therefore President Barrack Obama signed it into a law registration that would temporary extend one year and also hold the three controversial provisions of the Patriot Act that were almost expiring. Furthermore it also had the following purposes:

  • Empowering court-approved traveling monitors that permit observation on many phones
  • Permit court-approved removal of property and records in anti-terrorism processes.
  • License observation against a referred singular wolf, a non-U.S.A citizen engaged in violence who may not be portion of a familiar terrorist group.

On 8th February, 2011, House of Representatives voted for a consideration of further extension of the Act by the end of 2011.  After the vote, the extension bill did not pass, it was voted by 277 members which was less than the 290 votes which were the requirements and if it was not extended the act was supposed to expire on the end of February, 2011. The Extension Act was then signed to a law on 25th February, 2011.


The U.S Patriot Act has many advantages and interests to the welfare of the people in U.S and more so for the city council members.  These benefits includes tightening U.S.A measures to avoid, prosecute and detect international money financing and sponsoring terrorism, providing all necessary elements of the financial services industry and report potential money sponsors, subjecting  foreign financial institutions. More importantly, special foreign jurisdiction and  types of accounts or classes of international transactions that can suspect criminal abuse and empowering court-approved traveling monitors that permit observation on many phones.


Abele, R. P. (2005). A user’s guide to the USA Patriot Act and beyond. Lanham, Md. [u.a.: Univ. Press of             America.

Ball, H. (2004). The USA Patriot Act of 2001: Balancing civil liberties and national security : a reference             handbook. Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO.

Ewing, A. B., & Doyle, C. (2005). The USA Patriot Act Reader. New York: Novinka Books.

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