Appointment to Gutted Privacy Board Promises New “Post-Bush” Protections

Image: President BushEarly this year I described how President Bush gutted the committee responsible for protecting citizens’ civil rights and privacy within the administration’s anti-terrorism programs. The congressionally mandated committee had become an “open joke,” amending its reports at the request of the administration it was supposed to supervise. So, hearing such criticism, the President simply didn’t appoint new members to the committee. It ceased operations; even its website went away.

This week, the White House announced that James X. Dempsey, the Vice President for Public Policy at the Center for Democracy and Technology, will be part of a reconstituted committee. While CDT is not yet a core player in the online policy issue space, his appointment is a significant improvement over the committee’s political appointments, which included Senator Ted “Tubes” Stevens. Its nice to see the President thinks enough of privacy that he’ll make sure the next administration gets credible oversight.

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