Tester: Time for Civil Liberties Board to get to work

(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement after the President nominated three new members to serve on the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.  They join two other nominees awaiting Senate confirmation, which is needed for the five-member board to function.  Tester recently told the President that the Board’s vacancies jeopardize Americans’ civil liberties and undermine the public’s confidence in the government:

“I’m pleased that concern for our civil liberties is finally being taken as seriously in Washington as it is in Montana.  A functioning Civil Liberties Board will not only safeguard the rights of law-abiding Americans, but it will also strengthen privacy, transparency and our national security.  I plan to give these nominees a close look to make sure they’re right for Montana and the country, so they can finally get to work.”

The board, created in 2004, was established to examine anti-terrorism and security policies to ensure that they do not violate the privacy and civil liberties of law-abiding American citizens.  The board’s creation was a key recommendation of the 9/11 Commission, but it has never been successfully established.

Tester has long been a strong advocate for Americans’ civil liberties.  Earlier this year, he once again voted against extending the highly controversial Patriot Act and criticized the FBI’s new rules giving agents significant new powers to investigate the private lives of law-abiding Americans.