The Edward Snowden revelations and subsequent uproar over government suveillance programs capturing huge amounts of private information, e-mails and such, has put the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board in the spotlight these days.
The PCLOB is an independent federal agency that’s charged with ensuring that government actions taken to stop terrorism are balanced with the need to protect privacy and civil liberties.
So we were delighted to get an invitation to the board’s Oct. 4 public hearing at the Mayflower Hotel, where exeutive and judicial branch officials are to discuss changes to federal intelligence surveillance programs in order to adequately “protect privacy and civil liberties.”
Even better to see that the e-mailed invite displayed the e-mail addresses of the hundred or so recipients. Of course most addresses were those of media colleagues and, by definition, pretty useless.
But there were some we were happy to have, especially those for staff at the Director of National Intelligence, the National Security Council, the FBI, Justice Department,Treasury and the Pentagon. Sure saves time.
Well, transparency is also important.