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By David Keene
Conference showed that the values Reagan cherished still endure
Topic - David Medine
WASHINGTON (AP) — The independent oversight board reviewing the U.S. government's surveillance programs briefed President Barack Obama this week on recommendations and key sections of its upcoming report, the task force's chairman said Friday.
A small federal panel that oversees privacy issues has been catapulted from a bureaucratic backwater into the political maelstrom roiled by leaks about the National Security Agency's domestic snooping.
The White House over the past several days has launched a public relations offensive to convince Americans that, under President Obama's leadership, privacy and Fourth Amendment rights won't be sacrificed in the name of national security.
With concerns over federal surveillance near the boiling point, President Obama on Friday will hold his first meeting with the newly constituted Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, a senior administration official said.
A presidentially appointed panel charged with ensuring federal laws don't impede Americans' civil liberties has nothing to show for itself in recent years, failing to meet even once during a five-year span because vacancies had left the board dormant for so long.
President Obama has named two lawyers and a former federal judge to an independent privacy board recommended by the 9/11 Commission that has sat dormant for years under he and President George W. Bush.
The oversight board's full report will be released to the White House, Congress and the public on Jan. 23, Medine said.