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Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board Meets March 5. Can You Find Your Invitation?

Because President Barack Obama has not bothered to open a web page for the underfunded, unstaffed and unchaired Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, the only way for members of the public to know about its activities is to pay close attention to this website maintained by the Federal Registry. Despite federal law, the Board did not exist until last year and still has no chair or fully functional staff. This is the board that, under federal law, is supposed to investigate all the civil liberties violations by the entire United States Government and bring the truth to light. Not to be too blunt, but this is a farce.

Bringing the farce into action last year, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board held its first-ever meeting to solicit public input on October 30 of last year, on a Tuesday morning, well inside the DC beltway. The meeting was announced in the arcane pages of the Federal Register a mere 7 days in advance, and any participants had to sign up by 4 days in advance. In its inauguration, the “public meeting” for the PCLOB was a farce for all but those dedicated corporations and well-staffed interest groups with an intern dedicated to looking for such opportunities.

Since October of 2012, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board has remained Chairless, largely staffless, and entirely silent. But with hints of spring the farce comes again. Just yesterday at 4:15 pm, the Federal Register slipped a PDF file onto its server. The existence of this file will be quietly but officially announced on Monday February 25, giving proper Vogon notice that anyone who wishes to address the Board in a room on the 3rd floor of the General Services Administration building on the morning of Tuesday, March 5 must file official written notice by Friday, March 1.

Well, let me just bust out that timeline by releasing the announcement a whopping THREE DAYS AHEAD OF SCHEDULE:

"This document is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on 02/25/2013 and available online at, and on

[Notice-PCLOB-2013-02; Docket No. 2013-0004; Sequence No. 2]

Sunshine Act Meetings

TIME AND DATE: Open: 10:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M. (Eastern Time); Closed: 1:30 P.M. – 3:30 P.M. on Tuesday, March 5, 2013.

PLACE: The open meeting will be held at General Services
Administration (GSA), 301 7th Street, SW, Room 1034, Washington, D.C. 20417. The closed meeting will be held at 2100 K Street, NW, 4th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20427.

STATUS: Parts of this meeting will be open to the public.
The rest of the meeting will be closed to the public.

The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board will meet in open session to discuss the status of its startup activities, and related management and administrative matters, continue development of the Board’s Fiscal Year 2013 and 2014 agenda, and to receive public input. The Board will meet in closed session to discuss internal personnel rules and practices and classified information.

PORTION OPEN TO THE PUBLIC: 10:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M.; at GSA, 301 7th Street, SW, Room 1034, Washington, D.C. 20417.

All visitors must contact the Board Office, 202-331-1986, at least 24 hours prior to the meeting and provide name and organizational affiliation. All visitors must report to the visitor desk located in the lobby at GSA, 301 7th Street, SW, Washington, D.C. 20417 to receive a visitor's badge. Individuals who plan to attend and require special assistance, such as sign language interpretation or other reasonable accommodations, should contact Susan Reingold, Chief Administrative Officer, 202-331-1986, at least 72 hours prior to the meeting date.

Procedures for public participation

Individuals wishing to address the meeting orally must provide advance notice to Claire McKenna, at, no later than 5:00 P.M. on Friday, March 1, 2013. The notice must include the individual’s name, title, organization, and a concise summary of the subject matter to be presented. Oral presentations may not exceed ten (10) minutes. The time for individual presentations will be reduced proportionately, if necessary, to afford all participants who have submitted a timely request an opportunity to be heard. Participants wishing to submit a written statement for the record must submit a copy of such statement no later than 5:00 P.M. Friday, March 1, 2013. Such statement must be typewritten, double-spaced, and may not exceed ten (10) pages. Upon receipt of the required notice, the Board will prepare an agenda, which will be available at the hearing, that identifies speakers and the time allotted for each presentation.

PORTION CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC: 1:30 P.M. – 3:30 P.M.; 2100 K Street, NW, 4th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20427.

CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION: Susan Reingold, Chief Administrative Officer, 202-331-1986.
Dated: February 21, 2013.

Claire McKenna,
Legal Counsel,
Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board

[FR Doc. 2013-04380 Filed 02/21/2013 at 4:15 pm; Publication Date: 02/25/2013]"

In a perfect touch, the subject of this meeting is The Sunshine Act.

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