The "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism" act was/is a sweeping law that modified or amended more than a dozen federal statutes and greatly expanded the powers of the federal executive branch, government and law enforcement officials.
4 Key areas of concern are:
1. Collection of communication- altered the "Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 Title III" granting law enforcement the power to collect and review communication records, stored e-mails, treat voice mail as e-mail, reduce the need for probable cause for search warrants, collect credit card and banking information.
2. Foreign Intelligence Investigations- amended the "Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act's (FISA) permitting "roving surveillance", applications for FISA surveillance constituted enough reason for permitting the gathering of foreign intelligence.
Authorizes pen register and trap & trace device orders for email and phone conversations.
Denies the ability of an American to prohibit FISA orders should one exercises their First Amendment Rights.
3. Money Laundering- expanded the authority of the secretary of the treasury to regulate U.S. financial institutions. Created new crimes to control money laundering and enhanced punishment for this crime. Modified the ways forfeitures could be carried out:
Granting the government greater power to confiscate property of anyone thought to support, plan, aid, authorize, or participate in an act of domestic or international terrorism.
The person having his or her property confiscated bears the burden of proving his or her innocence.
No criminal conviction for terrorism is required for the confiscation of property. All of a persons assets may be seized regardless of whether or not the individual's assets can be linked to an act of terrorism.
4. Funding and Enhancing National Border Patrol- provides for changes in the way in which foreign nationals can be treated under U.S. laws and provides additional funding to enhance a multitude of operations.