- Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board
The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board is an advisory body to assist the
President of the United Statesand other senior executive branchofficials in ensuring that concerns with respect to privacyand civil libertiesare appropriately considered in the implementation of all laws, regulations, and executive branch policies related to war against terrorism.
About the Board
Recommended by the
July 22 2004, report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States [http://www.9-11commission.gov] , the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board was established by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004[http://www.gpoaccess.gov/serialset/creports/pdf/108-796/titlei_reform_intel.pdf] . It consists of five members appointed by and serving at the pleasure of the President. The Chairman and Vice Chairman are confirmed by the Senate. Board members are selected from among trustworthy and distinguished citizens outside the Federal Government who are qualified on the basis of achievement, experience, and independence. The Board is part of the White House Officewithin the Executive Office of the President and supported by an Executive Director and staff.
Board members include Carol E. Dinkins, of Texas, Chairwoman; Alan Charles Raul, of the District of Columbia, Vice Chairman;
Theodore B. Olson, of Virginia; and Francis X. Taylor, of Maryland.
The Chairwoman and Vice Chairman were confirmed by the Senate on
February 17 2006. All Board members were sworn in and had their first meeting on March 14 2006.
Role and operations
The Board advises the President and other senior executive branch officials to ensure that concerns with respect to privacy and civil liberties are appropriately considered in the implementation of all laws, regulations, and executive branch policies related to efforts to protect the Nation against terrorism. This includes advising on whether adequate guidelines, supervision, and oversight exist to protect these important legal rights of all Americans.
In addition, the Board is specifically charged with responsibility for reviewing the terrorism information sharing practices of executive branch departments and agencies to determine whether guidelines designed to appropriately protect privacy and civil liberties are being followed, including those issued by the President on
December 16 2005: [http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/12/20051216-9.html Message to the Congress of the United States on Information Sharing] and [http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/12/20051216-10.html Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies] .
In the course of performing these functions within the executive branch, the Board seeks the views of private sector, non-profit and academic institutions, Members of Congress, and all other interested parties and individuals on these issues.
Free of day-to-day management or operational responsibilities in this area, the Board is able to review and analyze information and policies and render advice that reflects an objective view as to whether privacy rights and civil liberties are being appropriately considered in efforts to protect the Nation against terrorism. It provides its advice and makes its recommendations to the President and executive branch department and agency heads, as appropriate, and has access to all relevant information necessary to fulfill its vital advisory role. Additionally, the Board makes an annual report to Congress. The Board's first annual report covering the period
March 14 2006to March 1 2007was sent to Congress on April 23 2007and can be found on [http://www.privacyboard.gov/reports/2007/congress2007.pdf the Board's website] .
USBill|110|H.R.|1 was passed by the
U.S. House of Representativeson January 9, 2007, implementing the recommendations of the September 11 Commission. The Senate companion bill, S.4, passed on March 13 2007. The bills were reconciled in conference and signed into law by President Bush on August 3 2007(P.L. 110-53).
The statute included a transition period of not more than six months, set to expire on
January 30, 2008, at which point the former White House Board would cease to exist and a new independent agency within the Executive Branch was supposed to take its place. The new Board is to consist of five members appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate to staggered six-year terms. The new Board will be able to issue and enforce subpoenas through the Department of Justice.
Panel Vacant as Terms Expire
As of January 30, the transition period outlined in USBill|110|H.R.|1 ended, along with the terms of all remaining panel members. The Board had already been under scrutiny following the resignation of one of its members last year amid accusations of White House censorship. As of
February 5, 2008, the Bush Administration has not nominated any members for the new Board [http://www.democracynow.org/2008/2/5/headlines#11] .
The former Board's documents were sent to the
National Archivesto be stored. [http://www.wired.com/politics/onlinerights/news/2008/02/privacy_board]
* [http://www.privacyboard.gov Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board's homepage]
* [http://www.whitehouse.gov/privacyboard White House website]
* [http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:zksBMWCMK_gJ:www.whitehouse.gov/privacyboard/+civil+liberties+oversight+board&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=4&client=firefox-a Google cache of homepage]
* [http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:yex6o-IZCF8J:www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/06/20050610.html+civil+liberties+oversight+board&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=3&client=firefox-a Google cache of press release]
* [http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RS22078.pdf CRS report for Congress with more information]
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