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Document: Privacy Oversight Board Report on Signals Intelligence Policy

In response to a Freedom of Information Act request from New York Times reporter Charlie Savage, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) has declassified its implementation report on Presidential Policy Directive 28: Signals Intelligence Activities (PPD-28). PPD-28 was signed by President Obama in January of 2014 and provides principles guiding “why, whether, when, and how the United States conducts signals intelligence activities.” The report was sent to Congress in early 2017.

Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB)

The President's Power (Not) to Nominate Officers? Paralyzing an Agency Through Attrition

There are many tools available to a president who seeks to scale back the scope and authority of an administrative agency. He can push to cut the agency's budget. He can embrace legal theories and litigation strategies that interpret the agency's statutory authority narrowly. He can try to appoint leadership that shares his reductionist agenda (and he can try to remove incumbent leaders who don't). And at the extreme, he might seek legislation formally shrinking the agency's authority or even abolishing the agency outright.

Safe Harbor

Final Thoughts on Reforming Surveillance and European Privacy Rules

Although it is a close call, the decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Schrems v. Data Protection Commissioner may turn out to be the most important consequence of the Snowden revelations. The CJEU invoked fears of NSA surveillance to strike down the safe harbor agreement that makes it easy for American companies to transfer personal information of Europeans to the United States.

intelligence oversight

Five Important (Or At Least Interesting) Provisions in the Intelligence Authorization Bill HPSCI Passed

One thing I love about the various annual authorization bills is that they often contain very interesting but little-noticed provisions. The Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016, which HPSCI (the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence) voted out last week, is no exception. The full text is here, and my top-five highlights appear below:

Section 303: The Intelligence Committees want in on Special Access Program reporting.

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