Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001
passed in response to the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. The Act, the purpose of which was to deter and punish terrorist acts, was controversial for some of its far-reaching measures. Its key provisions involved powers of surveillance, regulation of financial transactions, and border security. It provided federal law enforcement and intelligence officials with expanded authority to track and intercept private communications, both within the United States and as part of foreign intelligence investigations. It increased the regulatory authority of the Secretary of the Treasury to prevent money laundering and broadened the definition of what constituted money laundering. It increased border security, especially between the United States and Canada, and expanded the authority of officials to deport foreign nationals. The Act also created new terrorism-related crimes. In 2005, Congress reauthorized the Patriot Act, making permanent many of the provisions which were set to expire, and adding safeguards to some provisions to prevent violations of civil liberties. In 2010, provisions of the Act that were set to expire were extended to 2011, and again in 2011 to extend to 2015.
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