The government’s toothless privacy watchdog
President Obama today is meeting with the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB), an independent government entity responsible for acting as a sort of ombudsman against government overreach when it comes to things like the National Security Agency's collection of telephone meta-data for millions of Americans.
If you've never heard of the PCLOB, you're not alone. We hadn't either, and that's probably because the Bush and Obama administrations have done everything they can to keep it that way. As The Hill's Justin Sink reports, the board was created eight years ago on the recommendation of the 9/11 Commission, but has "remained largely powerless" thanks to White House obstruction. Indeed, this is one of the board's first meetings, as Sink reports: