Rushed through Congress just 45 days after September 11th, 2001, with little scrutiny or debate, the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept Terrorism Act (USA PATRIOT Act) has given the government sweeping new powers. It expanded law enforcement’s authority to search the homes and offices of innocent Americans without notifying us until afterward. It allows the FBI to secretly access private information about us - our medical records, library records and student records - without probable cause.
In response, concerned people nationwide are taking action. Through local city and county councils, communities across the nation, representing millions of Americans, have passed resolutions declaring their opposition to the USA PATRIOT Act and other government acts that erode our civil liberties, and urging the federal government to keep our communities safe and free.
Congress is currently considering whether to extend certain features of the PATRIOT Act scheduled to "sunset" (expire) at the end of 2005 and whether to give the government even more powers to conduct surveillance. The ACLU is working to reform the excesses of the PATRIOT Act and is seeking passage of the Security and Freedom Enhancement Act (SAFE Act) to provide needed checks and balances