In a letter to Pres. Obama, the Brennan Center and 28 other civil liberties organizations called on the president to quickly nominate someone with a strong background in privacy and civil liberties to fill the vital position of Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) chair. The chairmanship became vacant on July 1, 2016, with the departure of outgoing chairman David Medine.
“The PCLOB is the only independent agency inside the executive branch whose sole mission is to ensure that counterterrorism measures take privacy and civil liberties into account,” reads the letter. “The PCLOB’s role is too important to allow it to slip back into dormancy, even for a few months. As long as the chairmanship remains vacant, the work of the board will be impeded.”
The letter emphasized that the nominee should have a strong background in privacy and civil liberties: “It is vital that all members of the board, but particularly its chair, come equipped with both a deep understanding and significant practical experience in this area. Appointing a chair who lacks this background would risk undermining the board’s mission.”
Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of the Brennan Center’s Liberty & National Security Program, is available for comment. To schedule an interview, contact Naren Daniel at (646)292–8381 or firstname.lastname@example.org.