Backronyms and putting the P in patriotism

Something New Every Day – Lecture 14 – Computer forensics & digital evidence

Someone worked really, really hard to come up with the acronym for the USA Patriot Act. In fact there’s apparently a name for this practice of retro-fitting a great acronym – a ‘backronym’ (thanks Wikipedia)

The USA PATRIOT Act actually stands for Uniting and Strenghtening America by Providing AppropriateTools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism and it is the legislation enacted after the Sept 2001 attack on US sites to give Govt authorities much greater snoop-and-detect powers.

A sexy name for a whole bunch of covert intrusions. Not saying they’re not warranted or getting results but my money is on them having existed for a while and 911 was just a really opportune moment.

But as far as the backronym goes, I feel like it’s not their best work. Kind of daggy, no?

‘Trails of Evidence: How Forensic Science Works” is a The Great Courses DVD lecture series