Happy 10th Birthday, USA PATRIOT Act


Almost two-thirds of Americans approve of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations. Nearly half approve of the USA PATRIOT Act. Fortunately, some of its laws' flaws are receiving some much needed attention on its 10th birthday.

The Patriot Act, which was enacted 45 days after September 11 attacks, was designed to give intelligence agencies more power to collect information in cases dealing with national security.

Signed into law by George W. Bush … in 2001, it has received mixed reviews from civil rights advocates and constitutionalists alike. Nonetheless, this May Obama signed a four year extension for three controversial provisions of the Act–roving wire taps, searches of business records, and conducting surveillance of individuals suspected of terrorist activities but who are not associated with any known organizations.

Visit the National Security Archive for more information and an interesting graphic from the ACLU.