Biden chooses new chairman for federal privacy watchdog
- President appoints Sharon Bradford Franklin Chairman of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board
- Council established after September 11
(Reuters) – President Joe Biden on Monday asked lawyer Sharon Bradford Franklin to chair the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Council (PCLOB), an independent executive agency.
Franklin is a former PCLOB executive director who is currently the co-director of the Security and Surveillance Project at the Center for Democracy & Technology in Washington, DC, the White House said in its announcement.
She was also the policy director of the Open Technology Institute of think tank New America, the White House said.
The PCLOB is responsible for ensuring that the federal government’s terrorism prevention programs comply with the protection of civil liberties and privacy, according to its website. The Board of Directors was established on the recommendation of the 9/11 Commission in 2004.
Biden also announced his appointment of former Kirkland & Ellis partner Beth Williams to the five-member board.
Williams served as Assistant Attorney General in the Legal Policy Office of the U.S. Department of Justice from 2017 to 2020, the White House said. She was previously a partner in litigation and appeals in Kirkland.
Appointments to the five-person board require confirmation by the Senate. Only two seats are currently filled and there is no seat.
A group of 19 advocacy organizations urged the Biden administration in a September letter to fill vacant board seats, which cannot function without a quorum. The group wrote that the board “has played an important role in informing public debates over the past few years regarding the operation of US surveillance programs.”