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US Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board : report on FISA and reactions

US Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board

© Michael Brown / Fotolia

On 23 January 2014, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB), published 238 page report on the Telephone Records Program Conducted under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act and on the Operations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) Court.
The report contains not only a statutory and constitutional analysis, but also presents recommendations concerning the FISA Court. The PCLOB is an bipartisan and independent agency with wide authority. It analyses and reviews regulations and policies in the executive branch, where the five board members can even access classified material and take statements from employees. In addition to the executive branch oversight, they also advise the President and produce a six-monthly report to Congress. The board had focused on the abovementioned programmes already in the semi-annual report March September 2013, .

For more in depth information on the board itself see: Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board: New Independent Agency Status / Garrett Hatch, Analyst in American National Government, Congressional Research Service, 27 August 2012

Press articles

US government privacy board says NSA bulk collection of phone data is illegal / Spencer Ackerman and Dan Roberts, The Guardian, Thursday 23 January 2014

Obama phone records plan questioned / By Darrren Samuelsohn, Politico, 1/23/14

Independent review board says NSA phone data program is illegal and should end / Ellen Nakashima, The Washington Post, 23 Jan 2014

NSA Phone Program Is Illegal, Privacy Board SaysThe government board deals another blow to the controversial spying program. / By Brendan Sasso, National Journal, January 23, 2014

Privacy board calls NSA program illegal / TheHill, January 23, 2014

US Congress

“The Report of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board on Reforms to the Section 215 Telephone Records Program and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court” / Senate Judiciary Committee, February 12, 2014

“Hearing on the Report of the President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies” / Senate Judiciary Committee, January 14, 2014
The Honorable Richard A. Clarke – Michael Morell – Professor Geoffrey R. Stone – The Honorable Cass R. Sunstein – Professor Peter Swire

Ron Wyden Senator(D-Ore.), Chairman of Energy and Natural Resources Committee: Statement on PCLOB Report on Bulk Collection Of Phone Records

Patrick Leahy – Senator (D-VT) Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Comment on PCLOB report

Jim Sensenbrenner Representative (R-WI 5th District) Chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Responds to PCLOB Report


ACLU: Three Things to Know About the Government Privacy Report on NSA Spying / By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, 24 Jan 2014

SIIA, Software & Information Industry Association welcomes PCLOB’s Independent Review of Surveillance and Security

About EPRSauthor

European Parliamentary Research Service of the European Parliament. The EPRS offers the best available research and analytical support to Members of the European Parliament, their staff, parliamentary committees and, of course, to you!


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