Definition of the PATRIOT Act from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



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a US law, in full the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act, passed in 2001 following the September 11 attacks. It increases the powers of the US government in fighting terrorism, including allowing the government to put non-US citizens in prison for an unlimited period of time without a trial if the Attorney General considers them to be a threat to national security . It has been strongly criticized by civil liberties organizations.