The Patriot Act in a Nutshell
Some of the fundamental changes to Americans' legal rights by the Bush
administration and the USA Patriot Act after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks:
Freedom of association:
To assist terror investigation, the government may monitor religious and
political institutions without suspecting criminal activity.
Freedom of information:
The government has closed once-public immigration hearings, has secretly
detained hundreds of people without charges and has encouraged bureaucrats to
resist public-records requests. "Sensitive" information has been removed from
government Web sites.
Freedom of speech:
The government may prosecute librarians or keepers of any other records if they
tell anyone the government subpoenaed information related to a terror
Right to legal representation:
The government may monitor conversations between attorneys and clients in
federal prisons and deny lawyers to Americans accused of crimes.
Freedom from unreasonable searches:
The government may search and seize Americans' papers and effects without
probable cause to assist terror investigation.
Right to a speedy and public trial:
The government may jail Americans indefinitely without a trial.
Right to liberty:
Americans may be jailed without being charged or being able to confront witnesses
against them. "Enemy combatants" have been held incommunicado and refused