After the horrific events of 9/11/01, Congress acted quickly to pass the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001, better known as the USA Patriot Act. It was signed by President Bush on October 26, 2001.
The Act expanded the investigative authority of federal officials, including their ability to track and intercept communications, in addition to other enhanced powers to combat domestic and international terrorism. The Act has been controversal because of its impact on civil liberties.
To learn more about the Patriot Act, please consult the law library’s Homeland Security Research Guide. Resources available in the library include a five volume compiled legislative history of the Act. To discover more about the controversy surrounding this law, members of the GMU community may find the Opposing Viewpoints in Context database useful in addition to popular news sources.