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Obama Official: Once We’ve Got Your Data, it’s Not Subject to the Constitution

I am grateful to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board for at least holding hearings on the subject of the massive warrantless surveillance. On March 19, 2014, the PCLOB held a hearing and subsequently produced a transcript so that we can hear the Obama administration’s point of view on civil liberties.

As you already [...]

Donations: Charity:Water and the ACLU

Every time we sell one of our sweatshop-free shirts, we set aside one dollar of the proceeds to donate to a U.S. political organization fighting the good fight. We set aside another dollar to donate to the betterment of people living outside the United States. This month, we’re sending our international donation to Charity:Water, a [...]

As Warrantless Surveillance Scandal Grows Massive, Government’s Privacy & Liberty Board is…

… out to lunch:

As new revelations continue to burst forth — today we find out that even an Internet-free computer is no match for the warrantless spying of the NSA — the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board appears to be planning nothing. The one entity within the federal government tasked with protecting [...]

The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board Agenda for 2014 is…

That’s empty, and that’s it. The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board agenda for 2014 is empty. It hasn’t held a meeting since November 4.

What do you call a government board that is designed to protect Americans’ civil liberties interests against the pressure of the entire United States government, that is [...]

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 [...]

Wouldn’t It Be Great If a Civil Libertarian Ran for U.S. Senate? Now Ditch the Subjunctive: It Is Great.

‚ÄúVast NSA spying undermines our democratic freedoms and threatens international relations.”

Wouldn’t it be great to have a candidate for national public office who was willing to say something like this in blunt, bold, terms? It would be great to have someone in the U.S. Senate who says “the Senate should open its work to [...]

Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board Introduces Website and First Report

Empowered to subpoena testimony and documents from the U.S. Government, evaluate the constitutionality of “War on Terror” programs, and report its findings to Congress and the public, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) was supposed to have begun its activities in 2008. But President Barack Obama refused to nominate any members of the [...]

Independent Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board Schedules Meeting on PRISM Surveillance Scandal

If you care about warrantless surveillance by the United States Government, it’s worth periodically checking this Federal Register page to find out what the long-overdue, finally-formed Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board is up to. By law, the PCLOB has independent power unsquelchable by Congress or the President to subpoena classified or unclassified information regarding [...]

At a time of great need, has the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board neutered itself?

The Supreme Court just ruled that police can collect the DNA of people who are never charged with a crime.

The actions of your government in seizing the phone records of all Americans have just been exposed.

The same government has been sweeping up wide swaths of data on the activities of innocent people from [...]

While U.S. Government Secretly Tapped Phones and Internet, Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board was Stymied

This morning, you may feel like wearing a tin-foil hat to protect yourself, and such an act wouldn’t be entirely kooky. Yesterday, leaks to newspapers revealed that the United States government has not only been seizing the records of billions of phone calls taking place inside and outside the United States, but also has been [...]

Bipartisan Coalition Emerges to Support Geolocation Privacy Bill in Congress

As time passes, the usefulness of the party labels “Democrat” and “Republican” as a reliable shorthand for policy preference seems to be falling away. Bipartisan coalitions for bills are there in the 113th Congress, if you look beyond the headlines for them.

Consider the Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance Act (also known as the “GPS Act”), [...]