President Biden has made two nominations to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) that will cover the remainder of the terms that expire in early 2023 and 2024.

The nominations to the board include Sharon Bradford Franklin to be chairman and member of PCLOB until 2024. Beth Ann Williams also was tapped to be a member of PCLOB for the remaining term that expires in 2023.

Bradford is co-director of Security and Surveillance Project at the Center for Democracy and Technology, with a focus on surveillance, cybersecurity, encryption, and civil liberties.  She is a former policy director at New America’s Open Technology Institute, and was PCLOB’s executive director from 2013 to 2017.

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Williams was assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Policy from 2017 to 2020, and before that was a partner at Kirkland & Ellis.;

The board is an independent agency within the Executive Branch that was established by the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007. It is a five-member board that is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. PCLOB’s primary mission is to ensure Federal efforts to prevent terrorism are balanced with protecting privacy and civil liberties.

Most recently, PCLOB submitted a report in April of this year which examined the government’s use of executive order (EO) 12333 over six years. The EO is “a foundational document for the United States’ foreign intelligence efforts, including efforts to protect the nation from terrorism.”

Additionally, in January 2020, the board recieved letters from external groups urging the President and secretary of Homeland Security to suspend the use of facial recognition systems by Federal agencies.

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.