On October 26, 2001, US President George W. Bush enacted the USA PATRIOT Act. The USA PATRIOT Act is officially the "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act". The bill was in direct response to the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001. The goal of the Act was to reduce restrictions on law enforcement and government officials when investigating criminal activity.
The USA PATRIOT Act broadly expands law enforcement's surveillance and investigative powers and represents one of the most significant threats to civil liberties, privacy and democratic traditions in U.S. history. The Patriot Act gives sweeping search and surveillance to domestic law enforcement and foreign intelligence agencies and eliminates checks and balances that previously gave courts the opportunity to ensure that those powers were not abused. The Patriot Act and follow-up legislation threatens the basic rights of millions of Americans.
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