USA PATRIOT Act Law and Legal Definition

According to 8 USCS § 1701 (Title 8, Aliens and Nationality; Chapter 15, Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform), the term "USA PATRIOT Act" means “the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT ACT) Act of 2001 (Public Law 107-56).”

It was passed as a response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The Act allows federal officials greater authority in tracking and intercepting communications, both for purposes of law enforcement and foreign intelligence gathering. It also is intended to facilitate the prevention, detection and prosecution of international money laundering and the financing of terrorism.