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Liberties oversight panel gets short shrift

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Eli Lake
Washington Times
Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

President Obama is coming under pressure from Democrats and civil liberties groups for failing to fill positions on an oversight panel formed in 2004 to make sure the government does not spy improperly on U.S. citizens.

The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board was recommended initially by the bipartisan September 11 commission as an institutional voice for privacy inside the intelligence community. Its charter was to recommend ways to mitigate the effects of far-reaching surveillance technology that the federal government uses to track terrorists.

The panel was established in 2004 under the Bush administration as part of the executive office of the president. Its independence was unclear for several years. Congress responded by increasing the board’s budget, expanding its powers and moving it outside the presidential executive office in 2007.

Since taking office, Mr. Obama has allowed the board to languish. He has not even spent the panel’s allocation from the fiscal 2010 budget.

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This article was posted: Wednesday, February 3, 2010 at 5:24 am

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