Those familiar with the act recall that not only does it provide significant new powers for the federal government, but it provides substantial secrecy about how those powers are used, including limiting the amount of information available to monitor the effects of the law itself.
I'm not going to recap the entire article, because you can go read it yourself, but it touches upon many of the most disturbing aspects of the legislation and some of the places where abuses are believed to have taken place.
However, it doesn't mention the current campaign by Attorney General Ashcroft to raise support for the act.
The New York Times reported earlier this week that Attorney General Ashcroft has been making the rounds trying to garner support for the act. Further, he has requested that federal prosecutors hold town meetings to "inform" the public about the USA Patriot act in order to bolster support before the next election.
All of this in the light of some new cracks showing up on both wings (right and left) of the political debate as people wonder if they really want the government secretly keeping tabs on them.