Welcome to The Patriot Site! Here you can see how the Patriot Acts modify the text of United States law. It's much easier than trying to figure out what's happening from reading a Patriot Act itself! For example:
Patriot I says:
(f) AMENDMENTS TO THE RIGHT TO FINANCIAL PRIVACY ACT- The Right to Financial Privacy Act of 1978 is amended--
(1) in section 1112(a) (12 U.S.C. 3412(a)), by inserting `, or intelligence or counterintelligence activity, investigation or analysis related to international terrorism' after `legitimate law enforcement inquiry';
The edited result:
Sec. 3412. Use of information
(a) Transfer of financial records to other agencies or departments; certification
Financial records originally obtained pursuant to this chapter shall not be transferred to another agency or department unless the transferring agency or department certifies in writing that there is reason to believe that the records are relevant to a legitimate law enforcement inquiry, or intelligence or counterintelligence activity, investigation or analysis related to international terrorism within the jurisdiction of the receiving agency or department.
What Are These "Patriot Acts"??
How To Read This Site
What Is Covered
What Are These "Patriot Acts"??
There are two main documents, whose stated purpose is to make it easier to fight and prevent terrorism. The first, passed into law on October 24 2001, is officially known as the `Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT ACT) Act of 2001'. It is also listed as Public Law 107-56, and as H.R. 3162 where "H.R." stands for "House Resolution". Most people just call it "The Patriot Act" for short. In these pages, I refer to it as "Patriot I" to distinguish it from the second document.
The second document is what appears to be a piece of proposed legislation, not yet enacted into law. It was leaked to the Center For Public Integrity in February of 2003 by unnamed individuals, apparently in the Department of Justice. The CPI promptly published it on their website and publicized its existence, resulting in some anxious commentary by various writers. Its official title is "Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003", but the CPI dubbed it "Patriot II" and that is what everyone has called it since. Since it hasn't been enacted into law, it has no Public Law number nor H.R. or S.R. number. Following the fashion, I also call it "Patriot II" in these pages.
How To Read This Site
All text written by me is in Comic Sans
MS size 2 (CSMS-2).
The original text of the laws is in the default font of your browser, usually Times New Roman.
Sections with changes by either Pat I or Pat II are marked next to the section number with "Has Changes" in red CSMS-2. Other notes, such as "Added by Patriot I", will also appear next to the section number.
Text eliminated by either Patriot I or Patriot II is written in
text with a line through it. If new text is not
substituted, an appropriately colored note is added identifying whether it is
Patriot I or Patriot II that strikes out the text, e.g. this was blown
away by (Pat I),
this was eliminated by
(Pat II). Original
text is black, sometimes Patriot I text is also eliminated and
it is shown in green:
original text and
some Pat I text blown away by
New text provided by Patriot I is indicated by green text. It may be underlined or not, but there's no difference in meaning, it's just to make it easier to read.
If the new text replaces some eliminated text and the eliminated text is known, the new text immediately follows the struckout old text. For example: "
act of terrorism' means an activity that - ''act of terrorism'' means an act
of domestic or international terrorism ..."
New text provided by Patriot II will be indicated by
red text. If it
replaces some text which has been eliminated, it will immediately follow
the struckout old text. It may be underlined or may not, whichever makes it easier
to read. Example:
this was blown away
and this Patriot II text replaced it.
Other notes within the text, such as definitions of legal terms, etc, are written in black CSMS-2.
Wherever I could, I tried to show the old text that's being eliminated, but Patriot I itself does not always provide a copy of text it eliminates, and the Amendment Notes at the bottom of sections don't always show it either. Where possible, I kept 'Amendment Notes' that did list the replaced text and re-created the eliminated text from them, but not all of the original text replaced by Patriot I has been found and shown.
However, Patriot II has not been enacted into law, so all text that it would eliminate can be shown. Text that Patriot II wants to eliminate is still legally in effect even though it's shown struckout.
A couple of other Public Laws also changed text related to the Patriot Acts. They are indicated in different colors in the text, and a note appears at the top of the section they edit:
Changes by Public Law 107-188*
No particular color corresponds to any particular Public Law.
Where new text refers to other sections of law, and these sections are hyperlinked to, '*' are provided for the hyperlinks, to keep text color for clarity: "in section 101(a)(22)* of the" will let you jump to 'section 101(a)(22)' if you want.
I have omitted many parts of the laws' text.
Omitted parts do not relate directly to the Patriot Acts, or their details are already contained in the body of the law text (as in notes on old amendments). They are left out to make reading the text for Patriot information easier (the reader does not have to wade through a mass of unrelated and often cryptic detail). Omitted portions of text are indicated with a brief description of the omitted portions in blue CSMS-2, such as
"administrative details omitted".
For the curious, here's an example of the sorts of things I'm leaving out:
(Added Pub. L. 103-322, title VI, Sec. 60019(a), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 1975; amended Pub. L. 104-132, title VII, Sec. 722, 723(a)(1), Apr. 24, 1996, 110 Stat. 1299, 1300.)
1996 - Subsec. (a)(1)(H). Pub. L. 104-132, Sec. 723(a)(1), inserted ''or conspires'' after ''attempts''.
Subsec. (b)(1)(A)(ii). Pub. L. 104-132, Sec. 722(1), struck out ''and the activity is not prohibited as a crime by the State in which the activity takes place'' after ''the United States''.
Subsec. (b)(1)(A)(iii). Pub. L. 104-132, Sec. 722(2), struck out ''the activity takes place on a ship flying the flag of a foreign country or outside the United States,'' before ''by a national of the United States''.
Section 60019(c) of Pub. L. 103-322 provided that: ''This section (enacting this section and section 2281 of this title) and the amendments made by this section shall take effect on the later of -
''(1) the date of the enactment of this Act (Sept. 13, 1994);
Had enough? On we go...
Sometimes I omitted sections of the law text itself, such as "(a) - (c)
omitted", where it did not
seem to directly relate to the Patriot Acts or be of interest relative to them.
Those who wish to see the full text of omitted portions can download the full sections from the U.S. Code and other websites as given in the Sources links.
On the other hand, some portions of law text, even though they are not changed by either Patriot Act, are included because they are referenced by the Patriot-changed text or are useful clarifications and/or information related to the topics covered by the Patriot Acts. For example, I thought the definitions of Treason and Sedition in USC Title 18, Sec's 2383-2385; the U.S. Constitution, and so forth might be interesting.
As a courtesy to the other websites, all links to outside sites escape from my frameset (e.g. shown full-page). A click of the "back" button on your browser will return you to the complete Patriot Site.
What Is Covered
In these pages, I present the text of some parts of Federal law, as published on the House Judiciary's website and on the House's U.S. Code website. Most of it is dated January of 2002, some earlier. I show how this text is edited by Patriots I and II. In a few places, the Patriot edits are affected by other edits made to this text, by Public Laws 107-188 and 107-197, and in those places I included the edits made by these Public Laws too.
Disclaimer: My coverage is not complete. Between the time that Patriot I was enacted and Patriot II was leaked, there have been 26 other Public Laws passed which edit many of the sections of Federal law text which I present here. I plan to work these into the site in a future upgrade of The Patriot Site, but I just haven't had time to do so yet. Stay tuned for Patriot Site ver 2.0 to see how these other acts have changed Federal law.
"Construction"-- these law texts often uses the term "construction". This does not mean "to build", but rather "to construe" or 'analyze the the arrangement and connection of words in (a sentence or sentence part)' (Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition)
Section 128 of Patriot II proposes to add a
Section 2332f to
Title 18 of the U.S. Code. However,
a very different
Section 2332f was already added to this title by
Public Law 107-197, on June 25, 2002.
Either this section of Patriot II was actually written much earlier than the
stated January 9, 2003 date, or else its author was not yet aware of the
existing Section 2332f. I assume if they had been, they would have numbered it
In the proposed U.S.C. Title 18 Section 3198, as written in Patriot II Sec. 322(b), there is an interesting typo, repeated multiple times, where "II" is located where an "H" or an "h" would logically be found. This implies that the original section was handwritten by someone who writes "H" or "h" in a manner that resembles two vertical lines, and the crossbar almost nonexistent, to the confusion of the transcriber. The same typo occurs in Patriot II Sec. 503(a).
Similarly, in the proposed revision of U.S.C. Title 42 Section 7412(r)(7)(H)(vi), there is a subpart '(N)' which appears as though it should actually be '(III)'.
Patriot II Sec 424 proposes to add a new Section 2339C to U.S.C. Title 18, although there already is a Section 2339C, added by Public Law 107-197. Immediately afterwards, in its Section 425, Patriot II proposes other amendments, to the existing Section 2339C which was added by Public Law 107-197.