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News Link • Whistleblowers

Head of revived watchdog pledges open look at U.S. surveillance

•, By Alina Selyukh

The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, which has been largely dormant since 2008, held its first full-fledged meeting on Wednesday after the Senate confirmed David Medine as its chairman last month.

  The meeting was behind closed doors to review classified information about the vast and controversial Internet and phone monitoring programs. But Medine told Reuters that the board is aiming to hold a public event around July 9 to get legal insight from experts, academics and advocates. 
"Based on what we've learned so far, the board believes further questions are warranted," said Medine, who previously was a partner at the law firm WilmerHale and served as an associate director at the Federal Trade Commission.
 Still without formal email, a website or permanent staff, the five board members have in recent weeks acquired security clearances and last week, received a classified briefing with federal authorities including the National Security Agency, the FBI and the Director of National Intelligence, Medine said.

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