Hey, We Finally Have A Privacy And Civil Liberties Oversight Board... After Being Left Dormant For Almost Five Years
from the about-time dept
Fast forward another two years and change... and the thing still wasn't staffed. The whole thing was such a joke that in a recent discussion with a Congressional Rep (known for being a supporter of civil liberties), when the PCLOB (and its lack of members) was brought up, the Congressional Rep admitted that he'd never even heard of the thing. For all the urgency that was talked about in passing cybersecurity legislation, everyone just sat around twiddling their thumbs while this independent organization tasked with making sure the government didn't abuse our civil liberties sat completely empty.
Until now. Yes, we finally have a staffed PCLOB. The Senate has approved all five nominees: David Medine, James Dempsey, Elisebeth Cook, Rachel Brand and Patricia Wald. It's amazing that it's taken nearly five years to put this board in place (and that there wasn't more outrage over its absence). The real question now is how will the PCLOB wield its power. Hopefully it does some good and actually holds the government to account when it violates the civil liberties of the public.