The Patriot Act

The Patriot Act was born from the 9/11 attacks, but it's legacy lives on, and not just when it comes to terrorism.

Immediately after the September 11, 2001 attacks, federal legislators rushed the USA PATRIOT (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism) Act into law. As its title indicates, the law was designed to prevent another calamity like that on 9/11, not to mention lesser terrorist assaults. But the law doesn't do only that—it also enables law enforcement to investigate and prosecute people who have nothing to do with terrorism.