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    In the News: Groups Urge White House to Fill Privacy Oversight Board

    Privacy Lives joins 28 groups (including the Center for Democracy & Technology, Center for National Security Studies, and Special Libraries Association) in sending a letter (pdf) to the White House urging that the administration make the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board selection process “a priority and ensure that nominations to the Board are made to the Senate before the end of the first session of the 111th Congress, so that a Board can be seated early next year.” The board “was designed to play a vital independent role in oversight of privacy and civil liberties,” the groups said.

    The board’s purpose is to: “(1) analyze and review actions the executive branch takes to protect the Nation from terrorism, ensuring that the need for such actions is balanced with the need to protect privacy and civil liberties; and (2) ensure that liberty concerns are appropriately considered in the development and implementation of laws, regulations, and policies related to efforts to protect the Nation against terrorism.”

    Last month, Maine Sen. Susan Collins (Republican) and California Rep. Jane Harman (Democrat) wrote to President Obama urging him to make nominations for the Board. Earlier this year, Obama’s White House “Cyberspace Policy Review” noted that (pdf) “it is important to reconstitute the [board] . . . accelerate the selection process for its board members, and consider whether to seek legislative amendments to broaden its scope to include cybersecurity-related issues.”

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