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PRIVACY AND CIVIL LIBERTIES OVERSIGHT BOARD

Document Library


Legal Authorities

PCLOB Enabling Statute (Download)
The enabling statue of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, as codified at 42 U.S.C. § 2000ee. The Board is established consistent with the recommendations of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (known as the 9/11 Commission). The statute outlines the purpose and functions of the Board, as well as its structure and organization. The Board’s relationships with other executive branch agencies, Congress, and the public are also specified.

Executive Order 13636 (Download)
Executive order calling on multiple agencies to research and create a cybersecurity​ Framework to minimize the risk of a cyber attack on critical infrastructure. Section 5 of the executive order requires the Department of Homeland Security to prepare a report, in consultation with the PCLOB, recommending ways to mitigate the privacy and civil liberties risks created by cybersecurity measures adopted under the order. The report must be reviewed on an annual basis and revised as necessary. ​

Presidential Policy Directive 28 (PPD-28) (Download)
Presidential directive articulating "principles to guide why, whether, when, and how the United States conducts signals intelligence activities for authorized foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes." In the directive, the President encourages the Board to provide him with an assessment of the implementation of any matters contained in the directive that fall within the Board’s mandate.

Section 803 of the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007​ (Download)
Statute requiring the designation of agency privacy and civil liberties officers and outlining their responsibilities. Section 803, codified at 42 U.S.C. § 2000ee-1, directs the privacy and civil liberties officers of eight federal agencies – and any additional agency designated by the Board – to submit periodic reports to the PCLOB regarding the reviews they have undertaken during the reporting period, the type of advice provided and the response given to such advice, and the number, nature, and disposition of the complaints received by the agency for alleged violations. The PCLOB’s enabling statute directs the Board to receive these reports and, when appropriate, make recommendations to the privacy and civil liberties officers regarding their activities


PCLOB Policies

Advisory Function Policy and Procedure (Policy Download) (Fact Sheet Download)
The Board has recently released a new policy related to its advice responsibilities. The document, which is titled, “Advisory Function Policy and Procedure,” is intended to clarify the Board’s advice function and thereby provide a clear path for federal agencies and components to engage with the Board in early stages of the process of a new agency policy, rule, or regulation being developed.

Organization and Delegation of Powers and Duties (Download)
Amendment (Download)
This Federal Register notice provides information to the public about the Board’s organization, function, and operations.

No Fear Act Statement (Download)
Federal Register Notice "providing notice to [the Board's] employees, former employees, and applicants for Board employment about the rights and remedies available to them under the federal anti-discrimination, whistleblower protection, and retaliation laws."

Regulations on Freedom of Information Act, Privacy Act, and Sunshine Act (Download)
Finalized agency rule implementing the Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act of 1974, and the Government in the Sunshine Act. This rule describes the procedures for members of the public to request access to PCLOB records. In addition, this rule also includes procedures for the Board’s responses to these requests, including the timeframe for response and applicable fees.

Plan in the Event of Lapse of Appropriations for FY2016 (Download)
Agency plan outlining the Board's functions in the event of a lapse in appropriations for Fiscal Year 2016

Plan in the Event of Lapse of Appropriations for FY2014 (Download)
Agency plan outlining the Board's functions in the event of a lapse in appropriations for Fiscal Year 2014.

Privacy Act System of Records Notice (Download)
In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board created a system of records titled, "PCLOB–1, Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act Request Files."


Oversight Reports

PCLOB Releases Update on Government's Implementation of the PCLOB Recommendations on Section 215 and Section 702, February 5, 2016.
(Press Release) (Report) (Fact Sheet)
The bipartisan Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) has released a report that provides an update on the progress the government has made toward implementing agency recommendations. The "Recommendations Assessment Report" outlines the status of 22 recommendations PCLOB made as part of two separate reports.

Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board Releases Recommendation Assessment Report, January 29, 2015. (Press Release) (Report) (Fact Sheet)
To mark the one-year anniversary of its report on the Section 215 telephone records program and the six-month anniversary of its report on the Section 702 surveillance program, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board has released an assessment of the implementation of its recommendations. In its two reports, the Board made a total of 22 recommendations directed at the Executive Branch, Congress, and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. In its assessment, the Board discusses the status of each recommendation’s implementation.

Report on the Surveillance Program Operated Pursuant to Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act
July 2, 2014 (Download)
The Board's report on the surveillance program directed at international telephone and internet communications conducted under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The report provides descriptive, legal, and policy analysis of the program and offers ten recommendations to further ensure the protection of privacy and civil liberties.

Report on the Telephone Records Program Conducted under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act and on the Operations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court
January 23, 2014 (Download)
The Board's report on the bulk telephone records program conducted under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act on the operations of the FISA court. The report contains descriptive, legal, and policy analyses of both the telephone records program and the FISA court, and it offers twelve recommendations to increase privacy and civil liberties protections.


PCLOB Budget and Strategic Plan

PCLOB Strategic Plan for 2016 – 2018 (Download)
The PCLOB’s Strategic Plan for 2016 – 2018 establishes four strategic goals to support the agency’s mission and guide its efforts through 2018. These cover the Board’s oversight reviews; its advice to the President and other elements of the executive branch; its strategies to inform Congress, the President, and the public; and the Board’s continued focus on refining the agency’s own capabilities and internal procedures.

PCLOB FY 2017 Budget Request (Download)
The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (“PCLOB” or the “Board”) requests $10,081 thousand (and no new positions) for its fiscal year (“FY”) 2017 budget request. This request would sustain the funding level set in the Board’s FY 2016 budget request with no requested increase to resources. The FY 2017 budget will allow the Board to continue its statutory mission: to conduct oversight and provide advice to ensure that efforts taken by the executive branch to protect the Nation from terrorism are appropriately balanced with the need to protect privacy and civil liberties.

PCLOB FY 2016 Budget Request (Download)
The PCLOB requests $23.3 million for its fiscal year (FY) 2016 budget request. This request represents an increase of $15.8 million over the Board’s FY 2015 budget. This change between FY 2015 and FY 2016 not only includes an increase of 12 positions, but is due primarily to a one-time increase of $13.2 million for the Board’s required physical move in 2016. The funding requested for the 2016 move is a one-time expense which is required because the building housing the Board’s current office is being torn down, and the Board must move to a new location where it can handle classified information and operate in a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF).


Public Hearings and Meetings

Information regarding public hearings and meetings is available on the Meetings and Events page.


Official Correspondence

PCLOB’s Plan in Anticipation of a Lapse in Fiscal Year 2016 Appropriation continues to be applicable for FY 2017 (Download Letter)

PCLOB Letter to DHS on Cybersecurity Report, May 26, 2015 (Download Letter) (Download Report)
Letter from Chairman Medine to DHS Privacy Officer Neuman and DHS Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Officer Mack providing PCLOB feedback on the DHS report under Executive Order 13636 on Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity. The executive order requires DHS to consult with the Board in producing its report recommending ways to minimize or mitigate the privacy and civil liberties risks of programs undertaken pursuant to the order.

PCLOB Letter to DHS on Cybersecurity Report, March 21, 2014 (Download)
Letter from Chairman Medine to DHS Privacy Officer Neuman and DHS Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Officer Mack providing PCLOB feedback on the draft DHS report under Executive Order 13636 on Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity. The executive order requires DHS to consult with the Board in producing its report recommending ways to minimize or mitigate the privacy and civil liberties risks of programs undertaken pursuant to the order.​

PCLOB 12333 Guidelines Letter to DNI and AG, August 22, 2013 (Download)
Letter from Chairman Medine to Attorney General Holder and Director Clapper of National Intelligence requesting that they work together to update intelligence agencies' guidelines under Executive Order 12333 to account for technological advancements in communication capabilities. (Correspondence 1 of 3)

DNI Reply to August 22 Letter, September 23, 2013 (Download)
Letter from Director Clapper to Chairman Medine and the Board stating that measures are currently being taken to update the guidelines. (Correspondence 2 of 3)

PCLOB Response to DNI's September 23 Letter, October 2, 2013 (Download)
Letter from Chairman Medine to Director Clapper regarding scheduling briefing with the ODNI's Civil Liberties Protection Officer to discuss guideline updates. (Correspondence 3 of 3)

Senate letter to PCLOB, June 12, 2013 (Download)
Letter from thirteen senators to Chairman Medine requesting that the Board provide both a statutory and constitutional analysis of two recently disclosed NSA surveillance programs. (Correspondence 1 of 2)

PCLOB Response to June 12, 2013 Senate Letter, June 20, 2013 (Download)
Letter from Chairman Medine responding to the thirteen senators, outlining the Board's investigation thus far, and promising to release unclassified reports on the Board's findings regarding the two NSA programs. (Correspondence 2 of 2)

Leader Pelosi Letter to PCLOB, July 11, 2013 (Download)
Letter from Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi to Chairman Medine urging the Board to evaluate the legality of NSA surveillance programs as well as the operations of the FISA court, and to consider legislation currently pending in Congress. (Correspondence 1 of 2)

PCLOB Response to Leader Pelosi, July 24, 2013 (Download)
Letter from Chairman Medine responding to Leader Pelosi, outlining the Board's investigation thus far and promising to release unclassified reports on the Board's findings regarding the NSA programs. (Correspondence 2 of 2)

PCLOB Request to ODNI for FISA and PRISM Briefing, June 7, 2013 (Download)
Letter from Chairman Medine to Director Clapper requesting a classified background briefing for the Board on the NSA surveillance programs recently described in the press based upon unauthorized disclosures.


Semi-Annual Reports

Semi-Annual Report April 2016 - September 2016, January 2017 (Download)
The Board’s semi-annual report for April-September 2016 outlines the Board’s continuing work on projects pursuant to its advice and oversight functions as well as the agency's operations.

Semi-Annual Report October 2015 - March 2016, August 2016 (Download)
The Board's semi-annual report for October-March 2016 describes the agency's continued work on several projects, as well as its work in fulfilling its advice and oversight responsibilities under its substantive mandate.

Semi-Annual Report April 2015 - September 2015, December 30, 2015 (Download)
The Board's semi-annual report for April-September 2015 describes the agency's continued work on several projects, as well as its work in fulfilling its advice and oversight responsibilities under its substantive mandate. With the additional staff that the Board has hired over the last period, the Board has made significant progress in expanding its ability to provide oversight and advice to the executive branch. The report also covers the Board’s efforts to prepare for its upcoming mandatory relocation, due to the planned demolition of its current building.

Semi-Annual Report October 2014 - March 2015, July 31, 2015 (Download)
The Board's fifth semi-annual report describes the agency's current projects, including its examination of counterterrorism activities conducted under Executive Order 12333 and its review under Presidential Policy Directive 28 (PPD-28) on signals intelligence. The report also covers the Board’s work regarding internal operations, including its information technology systems and hiring to "right-size" the agency.

Semi-Annual Report April 2014 - September 2014, December 22, 2014 (Download)
The Board's fourth semi-annual report describes the agency's completion and issuance of its oversight report on the surveillance program operated under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, as well as the Board’s work on a range of other issues, including cybersecurity and activities conducted under Executive Order 12333. During this period, the Board also increased its hiring and took further steps to establish itself as an independent agency.

Semi-Annual Report September 2013 - March 2014, July 23, 2014 (Download)
The Board's third semi-annual report describes the agency's completion and issuance of its first oversight report on the bulk telephone records program conducted under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act and on the operations of the FISA court. During this period, the Board also continued its study of the surveillance program conducted under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. In addition, the Board continued to carry out administrative tasks to fully establish itself as a functioning independent agency.

Semi-Annual Report March 2013 - September 2013, November 3, 2013 (Download)
The Board's second semi-annual report describes the administrative and operational steps taken to become a fully functional agency. The report highlights outreach to the intelligence community and progress made towards issuing public reports and recommendations regarding the surveillance programs conducted pursuant to Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act and Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Semi-Annual Report September 2012-March 2013, June 27, 2013 (Download)
The Board's first semi-annual report describes the PCLOB's start as an independent executive branch agency. The report discusses the logistical and administrative steps taken to ensure the Board's ability to fulfill its responsibilities as outlined in its enabling statue. Additionally, the Board reports on its first public meeting, at which possible issues for focus and oversight were considered.


Freedom of Information Act

2016 Chief FOIA Officer Report
(PDF Download)
This is the PCLOB's second Chief Freedom of Information Act Officer Report, which covers activities from March 2015 through March 2016.

Annual Freedom of Information Act Report for FY 2016
(PDF Download) (XML Download) (Raw Data Elements Download)
This is the PCLOB's third Annual Freedom of Information Act Report, which covers activities from October 1, 2015 – September 30, 2016.

Annual Freedom of Information Act Report for FY 2015
(PDF Download) (XML Download)
This is the PCLOB's second Annual Freedom of Information Act Report, which covers activities from October 1, 2014 – September 30, 2015.

2015 Chief FOIA Officer Report
(PDF Download)
This is the PCLOB's first Chief Freedom of Information Act Officer Report, which covers activities from March 2014 through March 2015.

Annual Freedom of Information Act Report for FY 2014
(PDF Download) (XML Download)
This is the PCLOB's first Annual Freedom of Information Act Report, which covers activities from October 1, 2013-September 30, 2014.

PCLOB Quarterly FOIA Reports
FY 2017
Quarter 1 Data: (XML Download)

PCLOB Quarterly FOIA Reports
FY 2016
Quarter 4 Data: (XML Download)
Quarter 3 Data: (XML Download)
Quarter 2 Data: (XML Download)
Quarter 1 Data: (XML Download)

PCLOB Quarterly FOIA Reports
FY 2015
Quarter 4 Data: (XML Download)
Quarter 3 Data: (XML Download)
Quarter 2 Data: (XML Download)
Quarter 1 Data: (XML Download)


Federal Register Notices

Request for Public Comment on Counterterrorism Activities Under Executive Order 12333
March 23, 2015 (Download) (Public Comments on Regulations.gov)
The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board has opened a docket to receive public comments on regulations.gov. The PCLOB seeks public input to inform the Board's examination of counterterrorism activities conducted under Executive Order 12333.

Federal Register Notice for Public Meeting on July 23, 2014
July 9, 2014 (Download)
Announcing a public hearing on July 23, 2014 to vote on the issuance of the Board's third semi-annual report and discuss to future Board projects and allow public comment on the Board's future agenda.

Federal Register Notice for Public Meeting on July 2, 2014
June 20, 2014 (Download)
Announcing Board's public meeting on July 2, 2014 to vote on the issuance of its Section 702 report.

Federal Register Notice for Public Hearing on March 19, 2014
March 10, 2014 (Download)
Announcing Board's public hearing on March 19, 2014 to examine the Section 702 surveillance program.

Federal Register Notice for Public Meeting on January 23, 2014
January 16, 2014 (Download)
Announcing Board's public meeting on January 23, 2014 to vote on the issuance of its report on the Section 215 program and on operations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

Federal Register Notice for Public Hearing on November 4, 2014
October 25, 2013 (Download)
Announcing a public hearing on November 4, 2013 to examine the Section 215 and Section 702 surveillance programs.

Federal Register Notice for Public Workshop on July 9, 2013
June 28, 2013 (Download)
Announcing a public workshop on July 9, 2013 with experts, academics, and advocacy groups regarding surveillance programs operated under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act and Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.