What is the Patriot act---------------------------?

1 Answer

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    After terrorists attacked the United States on September 11, 2001, Congress and the President of the United States passed the USA Patriot Act. Designed to allow law enforcement greater freedom in intercepting and tracking illegal activities, it also gave the Treasury Department greater flexibility in pursuing illegal money transactions suspected of funding terrorists.


    When it comes to being able to predict or prevent criminal and terrorist activity, monitoring communication is vital. The Patriot Act addresses three different kinds of communications monitoring. The first deals with telephone conversations, the second with face-to-face meetings, and the third with electronic communications, such as email and voice mail. The Patriot Act still requires court orders for monitoring certain conversations and meetings, but the act provides greater leniency in obtaining the necessary information.

    Foreign Intelligence

    It is imperative for anti-terrorist agencies to monitor foreign intelligence. Since it is possible for a foreign national to be engaged in terrorist activities, the Patriot Act provides greater flexibility in putting foreign nationals under surveillance. It also provides for accessing emails and voice mails from foreign nationals using third-party servers, as long as the service provider grants permission. It also allows for placing foreign nationals under "roving" surveillance, allowing the individuals to move around, while still maintaining surveillance.


    Terrorism requires financing, and the Patriot Act gives banking and financial institutions the power to gather information about certain bank accounts. The Patriot Act also makes it harder to open a bank account without having proper identification. Since terrorists often have access to large sums of money, financial institutions now report any transaction of over 10,000 dollars to the federal government. While this requirement existed prior to the Patriot Act, additional amendments within the act also require individuals receiving more than $10,000 in cash to file a report with the Internal Revenue Service, regardless of whether the money is deposited or not. In addition, if the account holder has been identified as a potential suspect in either a drug-related or terrorism-related case, any transactions over $5,000 must be reported to the Office of Foreign Assets Control.

    Search Warrants

    The Patriot Act provides for a new search warrant, known as a "sneak and peek" warrant. Unlike conventional search warrants, which notify the property owner a search is commencing, the "sneak and peek" warrants happen clandestinely. This prevents the person who owns the property from knowing law enforcement officials have searched the property. In fact, if someone removes an item from the property during the search, duplicate items are sometimes left behind in order to prevent the property owner from being alerted to the search.

    Additional Provisions

    Other provisions in the Patriot Act include paying higher rewards for information leading to terrorist arrests. The act also allows for easier government access to classified data, as well as permitting DNA samples to be taken from any prisoner convicted of a federal crime relating to either terrorism or violence.

    Read more: Summary of the Patriot Act | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/info_8616055_summary-patriot-a...

    Source(s): O
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