The USA PATRIOT Act is an Act of Congress that became law in October 2001 under the Presidency of George W Bush. Its name is an acronym for ‘Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism’. The legislation has been roundly criticised by civil liberties groups in the United States and elsewhere for the sweeping powers it allows in terms of surveillance and the indefinite detention of immigrants.