Bush Moves To Quell Privacy Concerns
“Alex Joel’s appointment to his new role as U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence is one of several steps the Bush administration is taking to soothe concerns about civil liberties. Under siege for compromising privacy rights, most recently because of a National Security Agency program to monitor communications between people in the U.S. and overseas terrorist suspects, the administration is creating several privacy-related posts at government agencies.
“In February, the Justice Department named Jane Horvath its first chief privacy and civil-liberties officer, making her responsible for developing and ensuring compliance with privacy and civil-liberties policies, specifically as they relate to counterterrorism and law-enforcement efforts. The Department of Homeland Security splits the job between a chief privacy officer and an officer for civil rights and civil liberties. Mr. Joel’s role is even broader because numerous intelligence agencies report up to the director of National Intelligence.
“While even critics of the administration applaud the effort, they question what authority these officials have. Unlike inspectors general at federal agencies, these privacy officers lack the subpoena power necessary to conduct investigations and don’t report to Congress.”
Anne Marie Squeo. New U.S. Post Aims to Guard Public’s Privacy. The Wall Street Journal. April 20, 2006.
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