Archivists and the USA PATRIOT Act: Are We Prepared?
Special Collections and University Archives
On October 26, 2001, only six weeks after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, President George W. Bush signed into law the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (USA PATRIOT Act). The quick response was prompted by a perceived need to provide government officials with the tools they believed were necessary to fight terrorism. With little debate, the Senate and the House of Representatives resoundingly voted in favor of the Act.1 The reauthorization of the USA PATRIOT Act would not come as quickly. Several sections of the Act were set to expire on December 31, 2005; however, the deadline was moved to February 3, 2006, and again to March 10, 2006, to allow Congress time to reach agreement. The Act was reauthorized on March 9, 2006, but not without changes to the original Act.