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RGS Urges Congress and President to Act on Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board Nominations

The Reform Government Surveillance coalition (RGS) urges the Senate to act promptly on the nominations of Adam Klein, Ed Felten, and Jane Nitze to be members of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB). All three of these nominations were reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee by voice vote and are now ready for consideration by the full Senate.

The PCLOB works to ensure that the U.S. government’s counterterrorism efforts are balanced with the need to protect privacy and civil liberties. The oversight and advice functions performed by the PCLOB help provide accountability and transparency, which fosters trust among members of the public both here in the U.S. and internationally. Unfortunately, the PCLOB does not currently have enough members to constitute a quorum and therefore it cannot function effectively. Accordingly, the Senate should move swiftly on the pending PCLOB nominations.

The RGS coalition also urges the President to nominate as soon as possible a qualified individual for the fifth PCLOB member vacancy. We understand that a recommendation to fill the fifth vacancy on the PCLOB was submitted to the White House earlier this year. While we appreciate and support the progress of the other three PCLOB nominations, we also urge the President to promptly send the Senate a nomination for this fifth slot.

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