[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 236 (Thursday, December 8, 2016)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 88635-88636]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-29342]


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Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

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Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 236 / Thursday, December 8, 2016 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 88635]]



DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Office of the Secretary

6 CFR Part 5

[Docket No. DHS-2016-0075]


Privacy Act of 1974: Implementation of Exemptions; Department of 
Homeland Security/United States Coast Guard-031 USCG Law Enforcement 
(ULE) System of Records

AGENCY: Privacy Office, DHS.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: The Department of Homeland Security is giving concurrent 
notice of a newly established system of records pursuant to the Privacy 
Act of 1974 for the ``Department of Homeland Security/United States 
Coast Guard-031 USCG Law Enforcement (ULE) System of Records'' and this 
proposed rulemaking. In this proposed rulemaking, the Department 
proposes to exempt portions of the system of records from one or more 
provisions of the Privacy Act because of criminal, civil, and 
administrative enforcement requirements.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before January 9, 2017.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by docket number DHS-
2016-0075, by one of the following methods:
     Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Fax: 202-343-4010.
     Mail: Jonathan R. Cantor, Acting Chief Privacy Officer, 
Privacy Office, Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC 20528.
    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name 
and docket number for this notice. All comments received will be posted 
without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal 
information provided.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For general questions please contact: 
Marilyn Scott-Perez (202-475-3515), Privacy Officer, Commandant (CG-
61), United States Coast Guard, Mail Stop 7710, Washington, DC 20593. 
For privacy issues please contact: Jonathan R. Cantor, (202-343-1717), 
Acting Chief Privacy Officer, Privacy Office, Department of Homeland 
Security, Washington, DC 20528.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a, the 
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) United States Coast Guard (USCG) 
proposes to establish a new DHS system of records titled, ``DHS/United 
States Coast Guard-031 USCG Law Enforcement (ULE) System of Records.'' 
Concurrent with this newly issued system of records, DHS/USCG is 
proposing to exempt the ULE System of Records from certain provisions 
of the Privacy Act.

II. Privacy Act

    The Privacy Act embodies fair information practice principles in a 
statutory framework governing the means by which Federal Government 
agencies collect, maintain, use, and disseminate personally 
identifiable information. The Privacy Act applies to information that 
is maintained in a ``system of records.'' A ``system of records'' is a 
group of any records under the control of an agency from which 
information is retrieved by the name of the individual or by some 
identifying number, symbol, or other identifying particular assigned to 
the individual. In the Privacy Act, an individual is defined to 
encompass U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents. As a matter of 
policy, DHS extends administrative Privacy Act protections to all 
individuals when systems of records maintain information on U.S. 
citizens, lawful permanent residents, and visitors.
    The Privacy Act allows Government agencies to exempt certain 
records from the access and amendment provisions. If an agency claims 
an exemption, however, it must issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to 
make clear to the public the reasons why a particular exemption is 
claimed.
    DHS is claiming exemptions from certain requirements of the Privacy 
Act for DHS/USCG-031 USCG Law Enforcement (ULE) System of Records. Some 
information in DHS/USCG-031 USCG Law Enforcement (ULE) System of 
Records relates to official DHS national security, law enforcement, 
immigration, and intelligence activities. These exemptions are needed 
to protect information relating to DHS activities from disclosure to 
subjects or others related to these activities. Specifically, the 
exemptions are required to preclude subjects of these activities from 
frustrating these processes; to avoid disclosure of activity 
techniques; to protect the identities and physical safety of 
confidential informants and law enforcement personnel; and to ensure 
DHS's ability to obtain information from third parties and other 
sources; to protect the privacy of third parties; and to safeguard 
classified information. Disclosure of information to the subject of the 
inquiry could also permit the subject to avoid detection or 
apprehension.
    In appropriate circumstances, when compliance would not appear to 
interfere with or adversely affect the law enforcement purposes of this 
system and the overall law enforcement process, the applicable 
exemptions may be waived on a case by case basis.
    A notice of system of records for DHS/USCG-031 USCG Law Enforcement 
(ULE) System of Records is also published in this issue of the Federal 
Register.

List of Subjects in 6 CFR Part 5

    Freedom of information; Privacy.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, DHS proposes to amend 
chapter I of title 6, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows:

PART 5--DISCLOSURE OF RECORDS AND INFORMATION

0
1. Revise the authority citation for Part 5 to read as follows:

    Authority:  6 U.S.C. 101 et seq.; Pub. L. 107-296, 116 Stat. 
2135; 5 U.S.C. 301. Subpart A also issued under 5 U.S.C. 552. 
Subpart B also issued under 5 U.S.C. 552a.

0
2. Add at the end of Appendix C to part 5, the following new paragraph 
76:

[[Page 88636]]

Appendix C to Part 5--DHS Systems of Records Exempt From the Privacy 
Act

* * * * *
    76. The DHS/USCG-031 USCG Law Enforcement (ULE) System of 
Records consists of electronic and paper records and will be used by 
DHS and its components. The DHS/USCG-031 USCG Law Enforcement (ULE) 
System of Records is a repository of information held by DHS in 
connection with its several and varied missions and functions, 
including, but not limited to the enforcement of civil and criminal 
laws; investigations, inquiries, and proceedings there under; and 
national security and intelligence activities. The DHS/USCG-031 USCG 
Law Enforcement (ULE) System of Records contains information that is 
collected by, on behalf of, in support of, or in cooperation with 
DHS and its components and may contain personally identifiable 
information collected by other federal, state, local, tribal, 
foreign, or international government agencies.
    The Secretary of Homeland Security, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 
552a(j)(2), has exempted this system from the following provisions 
of the Privacy Act: 5 U.S.C. 552a (c)(3-4); (d); (e)(1-3), (e)(5), 
(e)(8); and (g). Additionally, the Secretary of Homeland Security, 
pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2) has exempted this system from the 
following provisions of the Privacy Act: 5 U.S.C. 552a (c)(3); (d); 
(e)(1), (e)(4)(G), (e)(4)(H), (e)(4)(I); and (f).
    When a record received from another system has been exempted in 
that source system under 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2), DHS will claim the 
same exemptions for those records that are claimed for the original 
primary systems of records from which they originated and claims any 
additional exemptions set forth here.
    Exemptions from these particular subsections are justified, on a 
case-by-case basis to be determined at the time a request is made, 
for the following reasons:
    (a) From subsection (c)(3) and (4) (Accounting for Disclosures) 
because release of the accounting of disclosures could alert the 
subject of an investigation of an actual or potential criminal, 
civil, or regulatory violation to the existence of that 
investigation and reveal investigative interest on the part of DHS 
as well as the recipient agency. Disclosure of the accounting would 
therefore present a serious impediment to law enforcement efforts 
and/or efforts to preserve national security. Disclosure of the 
accounting would also permit the individual who is the subject of a 
record to impede the investigation, to tamper with witnesses or 
evidence, and to avoid detection or apprehension, which would 
undermine the entire investigative process.
    (b) From subsection (d) (Access to Records) because access to 
the records contained in this system of records could inform the 
subject of an investigation of an actual or potential criminal, 
civil, or regulatory violation to the existence of that 
investigation and reveal investigative interest on the part of DHS 
or another agency. Access to the records could permit the individual 
who is the subject of a record to impede the investigation, to 
tamper with witnesses or evidence, and to avoid detection or 
apprehension. Amendment of the records could interfere with ongoing 
investigations and law enforcement activities and would impose an 
unreasonable administrative burden by requiring investigations to be 
continually reinvestigated. In addition, permitting access and 
amendment to such information could disclose security-sensitive 
information that could be detrimental to homeland security.
    (c) From subsection (e)(1) (Relevancy and Necessity of 
Information) because in the course of investigations into potential 
violations of federal law, the accuracy of information obtained or 
introduced occasionally may be unclear, or the information may not 
be strictly relevant or necessary to a specific investigation. In 
the interests of effective law enforcement, it is appropriate to 
retain all information that may aid in establishing patterns of 
unlawful activity.
    (d) From subsection (e)(2) (Collection of Information from 
Individuals) because requiring that information be collected from 
the subject of an investigation would alert the subject to the 
nature or existence of the investigation, thereby interfering with 
that investigation and related law enforcement activities.
    (e) From subsection (e)(3) (Notice to Subjects) because 
providing such detailed information could impede law enforcement by 
compromising the existence of a confidential investigation or reveal 
the identity of witnesses or confidential informants.
    (f) From subsection (e)(5) (Collection of Information) because 
with the collection of information for law enforcement purposes, it 
is impossible to determine in advance what information is accurate, 
relevant, timely, and complete. Compliance with subsection (e)(5) 
would preclude DHS agents from using their investigative training 
and exercise of good judgment to both conduct and report on 
investigations.
    (h) From subsection (e)(8) (Notice on Individuals) because 
compliance would interfere with DHS's ability to obtain, serve, and 
issue subpoenas, warrants, and other law enforcement mechanisms that 
may be filed under seal and could result in disclosure of 
investigative techniques, procedures, and evidence.
    (j) From subsection (g) (Civil Remedies) to the extent that the 
system is exempt from other specific subsections of the Privacy Act.

    Dated: December 1, 2016.
Jonathan R. Cantor,
Acting Chief Privacy Officer, Department of Homeland Security.

[FR Doc. 2016-29342 Filed 12-7-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 9110-04-P