Events and Press

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Filed: June 19, 2020

Board to Hold June 24, 2020 Virtual Forum on FISA

The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board has announced an upcoming virtual public forum to examine the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA. The Board will consider the past and future of FISA in light of recent Department of Justice Inspector General reports on the law’s use. The virtual public forum will provide Board Members with a diverse range of viewpoints on the FISA process, the law’s use for counterterrorism, challenges for privacy and civil liberties, and proposals for changes to the law.


Filed: April 13, 2020

The Long History of Coercive Health Responses in American Law

Chairman Adam Klein and Benjamin Wittes opinion. Lawfare blog, April 13, 2020.

Nearly 10 years ago, we published in the Harvard National Security Journal a long article about preventive detention – that is, detention justified in law by the need to prevent future harm, rather than as punishment for a past crime. After examining more than a dozen varieties of preventive detention allowed by American Law, we concluded that, despite the “civic myth” that preventive detention is disfavored and rare, it is neither prohibited no “especially frowned upon in tradition or practice.” Surprisingly, American law allows quite a lot of it.

The Long History of Coercive Health Responses in American Law


Filed: April 4, 2020

The 9/11 Playbook for Protecting Privacy

New data tools can help fight the coronavirus — as long as we don’t forget the lessons we learned after 9/11.

The coronavirus pandemic will transform American life like no event since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The outbreak, it is now clear, will cause death and economic destruction far greater than 9/11, awakening us to the profound threat that pandemic disease poses to our well-being, economy, and way of life.

The 9/11 Playbook for Protecting Privacy


Filed: March 20, 2020

Adam Klein: To Fight Coronavirus Spread, Constitution Allows Governments to Do What Public Health Requires

Chairman Adam Klein opinion, Fox News, March 20, 2020.

Are authoritarian regimes inherently better at fighting pandemics? China appears – after months of delay and deception – to have brought its domestic outbreak under control, but COVID-19 (the disease caused by the novel coronavirus) continues to spread rapidly elsewhere.

Adam Klein: To Fight Coronavirus Spread, Constitution Allows Governments to Do What Public Health Requires


Filed: March 11, 2020

It's Time for Congress to Sunset NSA's Call Data Program

Board Member Edward Felten opinion, The Hill, March 11, 2020.

The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, of which I am a member, recently issued a comprehensive public report on the government's use of the now-defunct call detail records (CDR) program under the USA FREEDOM Act. The report includes never before released facts about the program and its compliance and data integrity challenges that ultimately led the National Security Agency (NSA), wisely, to suspend the program in early 2019. 

It's Time for Congress to Sunset NSA's Call Data Program


Filed: February 25, 2020

N.S.A. Phone Program Cost $100 Million, but Produced Only Two Unique Leads

New York Times on the Board’s Call Detail Records Report, February 25, 2020

A disputed program that allowed the National Security Agency to gain access to logs of Americans’ domestic calls and texts yielded only one significant investigation, according to a newly declassified study.

N.S.A. Phone Program Cost $100 Million, but Produced Only Two Unique Leads


Filed: July 31, 2019

Statements From The Board’s May 31, 2019 Public Forum on the USA Freedom Act Telephone Call Records Program


Filed: July 8, 2019

The Board Releases Inventory of Active Oversight Projects and Other Initiatives

The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board today released an inventory of its active oversight projects and other initiatives. Notably, the release discloses for the first time, after clearance by the agency, the subject of the Board’s “deep dive” review of a classified activity conducted by the NSA. The inventory also describes several previously unannounced projects approved by the Board in early 2017.



Filed: June 28, 2019

The Board Welcomes Senate Confirmation of New Members

The Senate has confirmed the nominations of Aditya Bamzai and Travis LeBlanc to serve as Members of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.  With these confirmations, the independent, bipartisan Board will have a full slate of Members for the first time since 2016.  The Senate also confirmed the re-nomination of Board Member Edward Felten to a new six-year term.

Image of Aditya BamzaiImage of Travis LeBlanc


Filed: June 26, 2019

The Board To Examine Use of Facial Recognition and Other Biometric Technologies in Aviation Security

The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board has voted to initiate three new oversight projects, including a review of the use of facial recognition and other biometric technologies in aviation security.

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