See Also: New USA Patriot Act Infographic (via ACLU)
The USA Patriot Act, the law granting the government vast surveillance powers that was adopted in the wake of September 11, turns a decade old Wednesday.
The act, which has remained largely the same since President George W. Bush signed the legislation six weeks after 9/11, among other things gives the government powers to acquire phone, banking and other records via the power of a so-called “national security letter,” which does not require a court warrant.
There have been plenty of Inspector General reports published about the act. Some point to government abuse of it, and others highlight that the Patriot Act is often invoked for reasons unrelated to terrorism.
One report shows that of the 143,000 national security letters issued between 2003-2005, the FBI said it referred 53 cases for prosecution. (.pdf) None were for terrorism.
Read the Complete Wired.com Article
See Also: C-SPAN Programs Mentioning Patriot Act