The PATRIOT Act
Patriot Act Summary
The USA PATRIOT act, its full name being the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001, is an eight section act meant to increase the powers of law enforcement agencies in the USA. The Patriot Act text was signed into law by president George W. Bush on October 26, 2001. Below is a patriot act summary that will give a full overview of all eight sections of the patriot act text. This patriot act summary includes all major sections of the act.
The first section of the act enables federal funding that is necessary for many of the act’s provisions. This section also enables the president to authorize seizure of any foreign person’s property if believed to have aided in terrorism or war against the United States. Furthermore, this section condemns discrimination against those of arab descent following the September 11th attacks.
Law enforcement’s ability to surveil “agents of foreign powers.” is expanded in this section. This includes using any means necessary to monitor and sharing with the federal government communications related to terrorist activities, no matter where the suspect goes. Also included is the ability to issue delayed notification search warrants, in which the suspect is not notified of the search warrant until after the search has been completed.
This section attempts to block funding for terrorist organizations, with clauses forcing banks to take extra steps to prevent money laundering, and allowing the government to gather information from banks. This section also increases punishments for smuggling and money laundering.
National border security is increased in this section, by allotting additional funding for border patrols, customs, and immigrations officials. Foreigners who are tied to terrorist organizations are blacklisted from entering the country, and foreign students within the country are placed under greater surveillance than previously.
The power of National Security Letters, or NSLs, is increased. An NSL is a request for information on an individual, and are here allowed to be used against US citizens along with a gag order preventing an NSLs target from ever knowing or speaking about the order.
This section sets aside compensation for victims of terrorist attacks and their families.
Sharing of information between various law enforcement agencies is expanded and funded in this section.
This section defines which crimes can be considered acts of terrorism, including computer crimes, attacking mass transit, use of biological weapons, among others.
A system of inter-agency information sharing is created for law enforcement in this section.
The last section includes a few minor clauses.