Also known as the USA PATRIOT Act and Patriot Act I, this
controversial Act was introduced as H.R. 3162 by Representative F. James
Sensenbrenner, R-WI, on October 23, 2001, in response to the September 11,
2001, terrorist attacks. The acronym Â“USA PATRIOTÂ” stands for Uniting and
Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and
Obstruct Terrorism. The ActÂ’s stated intent was to deter and punish terrorist
acts in the United States and elsewhere
and to enhance law enforcement investigation tools. Related bills include H.R.
2975 (an earlier anti-terrorism bill that passed the House on October 12, 2001)
and H.R. 3004 (the Financial ÂAnti-Terrorism
Act). On October 26, 2001, H.R. 3162 became Public Law No. 107-56, that is, the
USA PATRIOT Act of 2001.
Though federal courts have found some provisions of the Act
unconstitutional, and despite continuing public controversy and concern, the
law was renewed in March 2006.
Further controversy brewed when on February 7, 2003, the
Center for Public Integrity, a public interest think tank in Washington, D.C.,
disclosed the content of a classified document that was to be introduced as the
Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003 or Patriot Act II. The legislation
was not brought forward in this form, although some of the controversial
sections were reintroduced in the Tools to Fight Terrorism Act of 2004. This
act was read in the Senate on July 19, 2004. It was not passed in this form.
Center for Democracy and Technology. Legislation Affecting the Internet.
[Online, July 28, 2004.] Center for Democracy and Technology Website.
legislation/107th/wiretaps/. Azulay, Jessica. Â‘ChillingÂ’ Pieces of Patriot Act
II return to Senate. The NewStandard. [Online, September 22, 2004].