Thesis Title

A Somewhat Different Voice: the Usa Patriot Act


Kara Davis

Date of Graduation

Spring 2005


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

C. Walton


When a nation’s security is threatened, often there are calls for action to address those threats. Such was the case following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. One result of the attacks was the enactment of the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001. The PATRIOT Act has been a lightning rod of contention because it affected many laws regarding intelligence surveillance, money laundering, and immigration. This thesis will examine the changes that the PATRIOT Act made to Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, addressing the constitutional issues such changes have encountered as well as how the PATRIOT Act has updated the laws to reflect changes in technology. Furthermore, this thesis will discuss Tittle III of the USA PATRIOT Act, the International Money Laundering Abatement and Anti-Terrorist Financing Act, which includes measures aimed at obstructing terrorist financing by tightening laws regarding offshore accounts, better customer identification for financial institutions, and underground financial institutions. Also included will be a discussion of the ongoing problem of immigration and detainees both in and outside of the United States. This thesis will examine how the PATRIOT Act, compared to the President’s 13 November 2001 Military Order, affects U.S. immigration policy. Through this discussion, this thesis will evaluate the effectiveness and importance of the PATRIOT Act both in updating previous laws and creating new ones. The result of the evaluation will be that, while the USA PATRIOT Act may have some flaws, they are not as detrimental to the liberty as some would believe.


USA PATRIOT Act, terrorism, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, money laundering, immigration

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


© Kara Davis