The USA PATRIOT Act (commonly known as the Patriot Act) is an Act of the U.S. Congress that was signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001. The title of the act is a ten letter backronym (USA PATRIOT) that stands for Uniting (and) Strengthening America (by) Providing Appropriate Tools Required (to) Intercept (and) Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001.

The act, as a response to the terrorist attacks of September 11th, significantly reduced restrictions in law enforcement agencies' gathering of intelligence within the United States; expanded the Secretary of the Treasury’s authority to regulate financial transactions, particularly those involving foreign individuals and entities; and broadened the discretion of law enforcement and immigration authorities in detaining and deporting immigrants suspected of terrorism-related acts. The act also expanded the definition of terrorism to include domestic terrorism, thus enlarging the number of activities to which the USA PATRIOT Act’s expanded law enforcement powers can be applied.

On May 26, 2011, President Barack Obama used an Autopen to sign a four-year extension of three key provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act while he was in France: roving wiretaps, searches of business records (the "library records provision"), and conducting surveillance of "lone wolves" — individuals suspected of terrorist-related activities not linked to terrorist groups. Republican leaders questioned if the use of the Autopen met the constitutional requirements for signing a bill into law.

Read more about USA PATRIOT Act:  Details, Background, Reauthorizations, Controversy

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... ” Bills to rescind the controversial USA PATRIOT Act provision were approved by very large majorities in the Senate and the House prior to the end of March, 2007 ... Attorneys appointed under the provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act Re-authorization were not term limited ... Thomas Eisele rejected the challenge, finding that Griffin held the position under the USA PATRIOT Act provision that allowed unlimited-term appointments ...
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... The USA PATRIOT Act, passed in October 2001, removed a great deal of freedom from the directors of the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the National Institute of Justice giving their authority to the ... Ashcroft and was responsible for inserting language in the USA PATRIOT Act undercutting the two agencies' independence, employees say." ...

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