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Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Sharon Bradford Franklin
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.
When D.C. police began installing surveillance cameras in neighborhoods more than five years ago as crime-fighting tools, privacy concerns voiced by civil liberties groups limited their scope and use.
An independent oversight board recommended by the 9/11 Commission to ensure that national security policies do not infringe on Americans' civil liberties has remained dormant for years, raising concerns among watchdogs that a crucial Constitution safeguard does not exist.
It also could be vital in informing the public of what the government is up to, said Sharon Bradford Franklin, senior counsel at the Constitution Project, a bipartisan civil liberties watchdog organization.
"They can get access to a full picture of these surveillance programs," she said Thursday.