WASHINGTON – Nearly two-and-a-half years after Congress passed the USA Patriot Act, findings from a USA Today/CNN/Gallup Poll survey show most Americans are still confused about the law’s provisions and troubled by the implications. Among the survey’s findings, a majority of Americans mistakenly believe the act authorizes military tribunals for foreign terrorism suspects and that it calls for the indefinite detention of “enemy combatants” captured in Afghanistan and on U.S. soil. In addition, 71% of those surveyed indicated they disapprove of a section of the act that allows agents to delay telling people that their homes have been secretly searched. Another half of respondents are uncomfortable with provisions that allow the FBI to obtain records from businesses, including hospitals, bookstores and libraries, and another that permits federal agents to ask financial institutions whether terrorism suspects have accounts with them.

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