Felten Nominated for Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board

Mar 19 2018
By B. Rose Kelly
Source Woodrow Wilson School

Professor Edward Felten has been nominated by President Donald Trump for a position on the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB). The five-person board, appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, is charged with ensuring that the federal government’s efforts to thwart terrorism are in line with protecting privacy and civil liberties.

Felten is the Robert E. Kahn Professor of Computer Science and Public Affairs and director of Princeton University’s Center for Information Technology Policy (CITP). His work lies at the intersection of public policy and information technology. He served as deputy U.S. chief technology officer at the White House during the Obama administration from May 2015 to January 2017. He previously served as chief technologist at the Federal Trade Commission from January 2011 to August 2012.

The PCLOB is an independent bipartisan agency within the executive branch established by the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007. The five-member Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board requires a three-member quorum to take any formal action.

If confirmed by the Senate, Felten would hold one of PCLOB’s Democratic seats. Felten was nominated alongside Jane Nitze, who has clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Neil Gorsuch. Nitze and Felten would join Adam Klein, who clerked for Justice Antonin Scalia, and was nominated to chair the board in August 2017. Felten, Nitze and Klein would join the board’s only current member, Elisebeth Collins, an attorney who previously served as the Republican Chief Counsel, Supreme Court Nominations, for the Committee on the Judiciary in the United States Senate.