01.29.14

Privacy And Civil Liberties Oversight Board To Appear Before SJC Next Month

WASHINGTON (Wednesday, January 29, 2014) – All five members of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB), who recently issued a report on government surveillance programs, will appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee next month to discuss their findings, Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Wednesday.

Members of the PCLOB will appear before the Committee on Wednesday, February 12, less than three weeks after the Board published a comprehensive report concluding that the bulk phone records program under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act has not been critical to national security and should be terminated.  The report also made recommendations regarding reforms to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.  Leahy is the lead Democratic coauthor of the bipartisan USA FREEDOM Act, a bill that would end the bulk collection of phone records under Section 215. 

“The recommendations of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board add to the growing chorus calling for an end to the government’s dragnet collection of Americans’ phone records,” Leahy said. “Congress must act to reform these programs and ensure Americans’ privacy and civil liberties. The Judiciary Committee plays a critical role in that process, and we will continue our work with another public hearing featuring all five members of the PCLOB. I look forward to the discussion.”

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NOTICE OF COMMITTEE HEARING

The Senate Committee on the Judiciary has scheduled a hearing on “The Report of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board on Reforms to the Section 215 Telephone Records Program and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court” for Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 10:00 a.m., in Room 226 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

By order of the Chairman.

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