The Senate Judiciary Committee approved five nominations to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) today. The following statement can be attributed to Berin Szoka, President of TechFreedom:
The PCLOB is a board that even the staunchest critic of government bloat should love. This isn't another unnecessary regulatory agency, but an essential tool for overseeing how the Federal government collects and uses information about Americans. That's why a dozen leading conservatives and libertarians signed a letter last week supporting the PCLOB.
A key recommendation of the 9/11 Commission, the PCLOB was first established in 2004, but the Senate never filled the Board. So today's vote is a long-overdue victory for privacy and the rule of law.
The PCLOB is more necessary than ever as Congress careens towards passing cybersecurity legislation that, while well-intentioned, could allow radical new intrusions by government into our private communications without traditional safeguards. Even if such legislation is amended as TechFreedom and others have urged, the PCLOB will be needed to ensure those added safeguards are actually enforced. A budget of one or two million dollars a year is a small price to pay to help protect us from a growing government. The PCLOB can't do this alone, but it won't happen at all without the Board.
Szoka is available for comment at email@example.com.