It's the tenth anniversary of the Patriot Act, but what do you get the government that knows everything. Jon Stewart, The Daily Show, 10/26/11
The Uniting (and) Strengthening America (by) Providing Appropriate Tools Required (to) Intercept (and) Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 was signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001, as part of the panicked response to the 9/11 attacks.
As the ACLU explains, the Patriot Act has "made it easier for the government to spy on ordinary Americans by expanding the authority to monitor phone and email communications, collect bank and credit reporting records, and track the activity of innocent Americans on the Internet." While it is generally believed that it was created and is being used for anti-terrorism purposes, turn outs that the Patriot Act is used routinely in criminal investigations, turning "regular citizens into suspects."
Check out theACLU's infographic here.
[Related posts: The Patriot Act Goes Rogue; Libertarians and Civil Libertarians]