Intelligence Surveillance & Privacy

The Lawfare Podcast: Part Two of the PCLOB on FISA Section 702

Stephanie Pell, Sharon Bradford Franklin, Travis LeBlanc, Beth Williams, Richard DiZinno
Tuesday, October 17, 2023, 8:01 AM
What was the most contentious recommendation that the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board members differed on? 

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On September 28, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, or PCLOB, issued its long-awaited report on FISA Sec. 702, a surveillance authority that is set to expire on December 31 if it is not reauthorized by Congress. The report was supported by only three members of the Board, with the two minority members issuing their own separate statement. The three-two split was along party lines. 

Lawfare Senior Editor Stephanie Pell sat down with four members of the PCLOB, the Chair, Sharon Bradford Franklin, and board members Travis LeBlanc, Beth Williams, and Richard DiZinno. Board member Ed Felten could not join due to medical reasons. In this second of two episodes, they talk about the members’ views on the privacy and civil liberties risks posed by Section 702 and each side’s differing recommendations on how to address these issues, with a special focus on the recommendation that is the most serious point of contention among the two sides. If you haven’t listened to yesterday’s episode, where they talked about the areas on which the members substantially agree and the compliance problems that have plagued the FBI, you can listen here

Stephanie Pell is a Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution and a Senior Editor at Lawfare. Prior to joining Brookings, she was an Associate Professor and Cyber Ethics Fellow at West Point’s Army Cyber Institute, with a joint appointment to the Department of English and Philosophy. Prior to joining West Point’s faculty, Stephanie served as a Majority Counsel to the House Judiciary Committee. She was also a federal prosecutor for over fourteen years, working as a Senior Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General, as a Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General of the National Security Division, and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida.
Sharon Bradford Franklin is Chair of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. Prior to her appointment as Chair, Ms. Franklin served as Co-Director of the Security and Surveillance Project at the Center for Democracy & Technology.
Travis LeBlanc is a partner and Member of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board at Cooley LLP.
Beth Williams is a bomard ember of the U.S. Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. Ms. Williams previously served as Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Policy at the United States Department of Justice.
Richard DiZinno is a board member of the U.S. Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.

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