Needed Steps Forward on the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board

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4 Responses

  1. Peter Swire says:

    Danielle: It’s worth giving some background about David Medine, who was nominated to be the Chairman. David has been a leader in privacy since his time in the early 1990’s as a leader of the financial practices division of the Federal Trade Commission, which oversaw the Fair Credit Reporting Act. In the mid-90s, he was instrumental in the Federal Trade Commission’s early privacy activities, including its first enforcement cases in the late 90’sand it’s successful push to get industry to post privacy policies for the first time. Late in the Clinton Administration, he was detailed to the White House’s National Economic Council, so he has important executive branch experience to help oversee the executive branch privacy and civil liberties issues. After leaving government, he practiced with the law firm of Wilmer, Hale, so he knows the ins and outs of private sector actions as well as his experience in consumer protection, privacy, and security. David, in my view, is an outstanding choice for this position — expert, thoughtful, and able to work with a wide range of stakeholders.

  2. Frank says:

    Terrific post, Danielle. I think it’s very important that we also have someone on the board who deeply understands the technology. The Princeton CITP has a number of gifted technologists; its director (Ed Felten) presently works at the FTC and would be great on this board. Or Chris Soghoian. Or Jean Camp or Lorrie Cranor.

    Additionally, Julia Angwin of the WSJ was recently nominated as “privacy policymaker” of the year for her series at She and her team have exposed privacy problems that the “privacy establishment” has barely noticed. A committed and brilliant journalist like her would make a fantastic addition, and should at the very least be frequently advising the board.

  3. A.J. Sutter says:

    Dumb question: what’s a “fusion center,” in this context?

  4. Frank Pasquale says:

    Here’s our article on them, AJ:

    “Federal agencies, including the DHS, gather information in conjunction with state and local law enforcement officials in what Congress has deemed the “information sharing environment” (“ISE”). The ISE is essentially a network, with hubs known as “fusion centers” whose federal
    and state analysts gather and share data and intelligence on a wide range of threats.”

    But don’t invest too much energy into learning these names…as soon as they get controversial, they’ll change. The lessons of TIA, and Blackwater/Xe/Academi.