The USA Patriot Act was signed into law under an act of Congress by the forty-third President of the United States of America, George W. Bush (on October 26, 2001).
The USA Patriot Act (as it is formally known) is an acronym which stands for
Uniting (and) Strengthening America (by) Providing Appropriate Tools Required (to) Intercept (and) Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001.
The act was modified (reauthorized) in 2005. In this re-authorization, the act was altered in order to add specific, and new, provisions regarding the death penalty for those found guilty of tterrorism, the enhancing of security at American seaports, creation of new powers for those in the Secret Service, and laws to combat Methamphetamines.
On February 27, 2010, President Barack Obama signed another re-authorization of the act which made the following changes (extensions to matters which would have expired without the acceptance):
- Authorize court-approved roving wiretaps that permit surveillance on multiple phones.
- Allow court-approved seizure of records and property in anti-terrorism operations.
- Permit surveillance against a so-called lone wolf, a non-U.S. citizen engaged in terrorism who may not be part of a recognized terrorist group.