June 27, 2017

Wyden Criticizes Trump Administration for Covering Up Surveillance Report

Washington, D.C. – Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today slammed the Trump Administration for denying his request to publicly release a federal report on surveillance policies. On February 15, 2017, Wyden asked the then-Acting Director of National Intelligence to release to the public a report on Presidential Policy Director (PPD) 28, which establishes policies and procedures for safeguarding personal information collected from government surveillance.  The report was written by the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB), whose previous reports on surveillance authorities such as Sections 702 and 215 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act were released to the public.

 “The American people deserve to know how the government’s surveillance activities are affecting their privacy,” said Wyden, a senior member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.  “The notion that this report has to be hidden from the public is ludicrous.  The Administration can’t have it both ways – citing the PCLOB’s public reports as evidence of effective oversight while burying this report.”

 “We have never needed the PCLOB more.  I call on the administration to nominate board members so that it can once again function, and to release this and all future PCLOB reports.”

The PCLOB is an independent agency created by Congress.  Its statutory charter states that its reports should be “available to the public to the greatest extent that is consistent with the protection of classified information and applicable law.”