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Obama Administration Agencies Blow Off Required Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Reports

This month, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board issued its second semi-annual public report on its investigations of the activities of the United States government and the extent to which those activities violate the constitutional rights of everyday people. A juicy tidbit in that report seems to have escaped notice. Let’s cover it.

Focus your attention on pages 12 and 13 of the report, which cover the requirement under law that “the Attorney General, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency” all “shall periodically, but not less than quarterly, submit a report” to Congress and the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board regarding “the number and nature of the complaints received by the department, agency, or element concerned for alleged violations” of civil liberties and “a summary of the disposition of such complaints, the reviews and inquiries conducted,” and changes made to policy as a result.

Boil down the legalese and this amounts to a legal requirement that the information and intelligence agencies of the Obama administration submit quarterly reports to the PCLOB indicating the number of civil liberties complaints received, the kinds of civil liberties complaints received, and the status of responses to these complaints.

How well have the various wings of the Obama administration complied? According to the PCLOB, not very well at all:

  • The Central Intelligence Agency, Department of State and Department of Health and Human Services haven’t bothered to send any such reports at all, despite being legally required to do so.
  • The remainder of the Obama administration information and intelligence agencies listed above have sent on information that is, as the PCLOB puts it politely, “for the most part not informative.” These agencies have sent on counts of complaints, but (again despite the law) have not described the nature of the complaints or any description of the way in which the agencies have responded to those complaints.

The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board concluded that it had received no useful information to share, which is why you can’t find that information in this most recent report.

The bottom line: agencies of the Obama administration are blowing off the law, failing to report complaints about and responses to violations of your constitutional rights. Spread the word.

3 thoughts on “Obama Administration Agencies Blow Off Required Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Reports”

  1. Tom says:

    My oh my, how we’ve come around from the second coming of JFK to worse than Bush. In fact, it’s gotten to the point that politics has gone from being “of the people by the people for the people” to a corporate controlled way to keep us in line, spy on us and extract wealth from us rather than to improve our conditions and make things more fair.

    What are we supposed to do now, vote? Yeah, right. When the whole system is set up to “vet” the candidates to see how they’ll “play ball” with the way things are while they all take money from (and are therefore beholden to) the powers that be, I don’t think so.

    Meanwhile we’re driving ourselves to extinction (as a species), but let’s just extend and pretend until we can’t, because we’re so intelligent, ethical and brainwashed that we can’t even imagine that.

  2. Tom says:

    Oh man, if you really want to open your eyes to how bad it is (politically) and how long we’ve been lied to and duped – check this 25 min. video out:

  3. Tom says:

    comment by Bill Maher:

    Bill Maher New Rules- House of Lards

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