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.
Latest in PCLOB
The White House’s announcement of the intended nominations of Travis LeBlanc and Aditya Bamzai to be members of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) is a welcome development for this low-profile but increasingly significant board.
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.
The National Security Law Podcast, Episode 14: Potential Assange Charges, and More From Some Island in the Pacific
[Note: we are working to sort out a challenge with the embed code, so for now we are simply linking to the NSL Podcast home page. For Episode 14, please just click here.]
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.
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.