USA Patriot Act

Definition of 'USA Patriot Act'


A law passed shortly after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States giving law enforcement agencies increased, broad powers to bring terrorists to justice. The USA Patriot Act is an acronym for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism.

Investopedia explains 'USA Patriot Act'


Since its inception, the Patriot Act has been shrouded in controversy. Proponents of the act believe that it is a necessary evil in the face of new threats to America in the ever-changing international political climate. Civil libertarians see it as an unpatriotic means of limiting civil rights, infringing on free speech, interfering with freedom of the press and infringing on individual privacy rights.


Filed Under:

comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Walras' Law

    An economics law that suggests that the existence of excess supply in one market must be matched by excess demand in another market so that it balances out. So when examining a specific market, if all other markets are in equilibrium, Walras' Law asserts that the examined market is also in equilibrium.
  2. Market Segmentation

    A marketing term referring to the aggregating of prospective buyers into groups (segments) that have common needs and will respond similarly to a marketing action. Market segmentation enables companies to target different categories of consumers who perceive the full value of certain products and services differently from one another.
  3. Effective Annual Interest Rate

    An investment's annual rate of interest when compounding occurs more often than once a year. Calculated as the following:
  4. Debit Spread

    Two options with different market prices that an investor trades on the same underlying security. The higher priced option is purchased and the lower premium option is sold - both at the same time. The higher the debit spread, the greater the initial cash outflow the investor will incur on the transaction.
  5. Odious Debt

    Money borrowed by one country from another country and then misappropriated by national rulers. A nation's debt becomes odious debt when government leaders use borrowed funds in ways that don't benefit or even oppress citizens. Some legal scholars argue that successor governments should not be held accountable for odious debt incurred by earlier regimes, but there is no consensus on how odious debt should actually be treated.
  6. Takeover

    A corporate action where an acquiring company makes a bid for an acquiree. If the target company is publicly traded, the acquiring company will make an offer for the outstanding shares.
Trading Center