[Congressional Record Volume 164, Number 169 (Thursday, October 11, 2018)]
[Pages S6806-S6807]


  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, I rise today to comment on the confirmation 
of three nominees to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, 
often called the PCLOB. The PCLOB is a vital oversight mechanism, 
empowered by Congress to investigate and write public reports on some 
of the government's most secretive and controversial programs.
  Today, three board member nominees were confirmed to the PCLOB: 
Edward Felten, a computer science professor at Princeton; Jane Nitze, a 
former lawyer

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at the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel; and Adam Klein, 
nominated to be chair, who is a fellow at the Center for New American 
  I have concerns about some of the policy perspectives the Republican 
nominees hold. In this case, however, a functioning PCLOB with board 
members who listen to dissenting views is better than the status quo, 
where the five-member board has only one member. The PCLOB has been 
dormant for most of the current administration and regrettably--and in 
contrary to its statutory mission--has not made all of its previously 
investigated and written reports public. I look forward to working with 
the new board members to returning the PCLOB to its core mission of 
public oversight of classified programs.
  Additionally, I am particularly grateful for Professor Felten's 
confirmation. The presence of a true public servant technologist on the 
PCLOB will hopefully raise awareness and understanding surrounding 
controversial surveillance programs that use advanced technology.
  In the coming weeks and months, I will be working with the new board 
members on the critical issues of privacy, security, and secret 
interpretations of public law. It is my sincere hope that the new 
members share my deeply held belief that the government should not have 
classified interpretations of public laws that cause the programs to 
operate differently than the public understands.