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The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board is an independent bipartisan agency within the executive branch. It was created in response to a recommendation of the 9/11 Commission that "there should be a board within the executive branch to oversee . . . the commitment the government makes to defend our civil liberties." It is an advisory body that assists the President and other senior executive branch officials in ensuring that concerns with respect to privacy and civil liberties are appropriately considered in the implementation of all laws, regulations, and executive branch policies related to the war against terrorism. It consists of five members appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.
By statute, the PCLOB is mandated to
Historical background Edit
The Board is in its third iteration. In July 2004, the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (known as the 9/11 Commission) recommended that "there should be a board within the executive branch to oversee adherence to the guidelines we recommend and the commitment the government makes to defend our civil liberties."
In August 2004, President Bush created the President's Board on Safeguarding Americans' Civil Liberties by Executive Order. The President’s Board ceased to meet upon the enactment of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, which created a Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board within the Executive Office of the President.
In 2007, the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 reconstituted the Board in its current form as an independent agency within the executive branch. The Act requires that all five Board members be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, for staggered six-year terms. The Act further requires that the Board be bipartisan in composition. No more than three of the five members may be from the same political party, and before appointing members who are not from the President's political party, the President must consult with the leadership of the opposing party.
With the reconstitution of the Board, the 9/11 Commission Act terminated, effective January 30, 2008, the terms of the individuals then serving as Board members within the Executive Office of the President. From that time until August 2012, the Board did not function, as none of the positions on the Board were filled. Then, in August 2012, the Board's current four part-time members were confirmed by the Senate, providing the reconstituted Board with its first confirmed members and a quorum to begin operations. The Board's chairman, its only full-time member, was confirmed on May 7, 2013, and sworn in on May 29.
- ↑ Pub. L. No. 110-53, §801(a) (codified at 42 U.S.C. §2000ee).
- ↑ The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the Nation Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, at 395 (2004).
- ↑ See Executive Order 13353.
- ↑ See Pub. L. No. 108-458, §1061(b), 118 Stat. 3638, 3684 (2004). As chartered under IRTPA, the Board was comprised of two Board members appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, and three additional Board members appointed by the President. Id. §1061(e)(1).
- ↑ See Pub. L. No. 110-53, §801(a), 121 Stat. 266, 352-58 (2007).
- ↑ See Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, Semi-Annual Report, September 2012 to March 2013 (June 27, 2013); Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, Semi-Annual Report, March 2013 to September 2013 (Nov. 3, 2013), available here.