Executive Order Adds Privacy, Civil Liberties Safeguards for Signals Intelligence Activities

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President Biden signed an executive order on Friday  to improve safeguards for U.S. signals intelligence activities and implement the country’s commitments under the European Union-U.S. Data Privacy Framework announced in March.

The EO requires SIGINT efforts to be carried out in a manner that pursues defined national security objectives, directs the U.S. intelligence community to update policies and procedures to reflect privacy and civil liberties safeguards outlined in the order and mandates handling requirements for personal data collected through SIGINT activities, the White House said Friday.

The policy establishes a multilayer process that allows individuals from qualifying states and regional economic integration organizations to seek redress if their personal information was gathered through SIGINT in a way that violated U.S. law.

The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board should also assess the policies and procedures set by the IC to ensure that they are aligned with the EO.

The strengthened safeguards for signals intelligence, the new redress mechanism and updated privacy principles, will form the basis for the European Commission’s assessment in a new adequacy decision for the EU-U.S. DPF,” Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said in a statement published Friday.

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