Skip to Content

Government Surveillance

CDT, Others Urge President Biden to Renominate Sharon Bradford Franklin to Chair of Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board

Today, the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) was joined by 15 other organizations in urging President Biden to renominate Sharon Bradford Franklin to Chair of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB). Ms. Bradford Franklin’s terms as PCLOB Chair has expired and the period during which she can serve in a holdover capacity expires in January. In the past, vacancies in PCLOB membership have rendered it less effective — and even dormant — for lengthy periods of time.

The letter points out that Ms. Bradford Franklin has proven herself a “vigorous and pragmatic champion of protecting privacy and civil liberties in the fight against terrorism” and in promoting transparency in the Intelligence Community that PCLOB oversees. It indicates that the PCLOB’s reports on extraordinary surveillance powers — including reports issued under Ms. Bradford Franklin’s leadership — have driven the public debate about whether those powers should be renewed and the guardrails that should be included when they are renewed.

Stable leadership at PCLOB is especially important now because of its role in reviewing the privacy and civil liberties safeguards in the EU-US Data Privacy Framework (DPF). The European Commission is in the midst of a searching examination of the workings of the DPF in the U.S., and the proper functioning of PCLOB will be at issue during that examination. The DPF enables the flow of data between the U.S. and EU Member states.

Read the full letter + list of signatories.