Privacy Act of 1974: Implementation of Exemptions; United States Coast Guard 030 Merchant Seamen's Records, 30243-30244 [E9-14913]

Download as PDF sroberts on PROD1PC70 with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 121 / Thursday, June 25, 2009 / Proposed Rules violation to the existence of the 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 the 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 impossible administrative burden by requiring investigations to be continuously 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 an investigation, thereby interfering with the related investigation and law enforcement activities. (e) From subsection (e)(3) (Notice to Subjects) because providing such detailed information would impede law enforcement in that it could compromise investigations by: revealing the existence of an otherwise confidential investigation and thereby provide an opportunity for the subject of an investigation to conceal evidence, alter patterns of behavior, or take other actions that could thwart investigative efforts; reveal the identity of witnesses in investigations, thereby providing an opportunity for the subjects of the investigations or others to harass, intimidate, or otherwise interfere with the collection of evidence or other information from such witnesses; or reveal the identity of confidential informants, which would negatively affect the informant’s usefulness in any ongoing or future investigations and discourage members of the public from cooperating as VerDate Nov<24>2008 16:01 Jun 24, 2009 Jkt 217001 confidential informants in any future investigations. (f) From subsections (e)(4)(G), (H), and (I) (Agency Requirements), and (f) (Agency Rules) because portions of this system are exempt from the individual access provisions of subsection (d) for the reasons noted above, and therefore DHS is not required to establish requirements, rules, or procedures with respect to such access. Providing notice to individuals with respect to existence of records pertaining to them in the system of records or otherwise setting up procedures pursuant to which individuals may access and view records pertaining to themselves in the system would undermine investigative efforts and reveal the identities of witnesses, and potential witnesses, and confidential informants. (g) From subsection (e)(5) (Collection of Information) because in 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 (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’ 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. (i) From subsection (g) to the extent that the system is exempt from other specific subsections of the Privacy Act relating to individuals’ rights to access and amend their records contained in the system. Therefore DHS is not required to establish rules or procedures pursuant to which individuals may seek a civil remedy for the agency’s: refusal to amend a record; refusal to comply with a request for access to records; failure to maintain accurate, relevant timely and complete records; or failure to otherwise comply with an individual’s right to access or amend records. Dated: June 18, 2009. Mary Ellen Callahan, Chief Privacy Officer, Department of Homeland Security. [FR Doc. E9–14908 Filed 6–24–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–15–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Office of the Secretary 6 CFR Part 5 [Docket No. DHS–2009–0014] Privacy Act of 1974: Implementation of Exemptions; United States Coast Guard 030 Merchant Seamen’s Records AGENCY: PO 00000 Privacy Office, DHS. Frm 00004 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 ACTION: 30243 Notice of proposed rulemaking. SUMMARY: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is giving concurrent notice of a revised and updated system of records pursuant to the Privacy Act of 1974 for the Department of Homeland Security to administer the DHS/USCG– 028 United States Merchant Seamen’s Records 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. The exemptions for the legacy system of records notices will continue to be applicable until the final rule for this SORN has been completed. DATES: Comments must be received on or before July 27, 2009. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by docket number DHS– 2009–0014, by one of the following methods: • Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. • Fax: 703–483–2999. • Mail: Mary Ellen Callahan, Chief Privacy Officer, 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 and privacy issues, please contact: Mary Ellen Callahan (703–235–0780), Chief Privacy Officer, Privacy Office, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC 20528. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background: Pursuant to the savings clause in the Homeland Security Act of 2002, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) United States Coast Guard (USCG) have relied on preexisting Privacy Act systems of records notices for the collection and maintenance of records that concern the Department of Homeland Security to administer the DHS/USCG–028 United States Coast Guard Family Advocacy Program. As part of its efforts to streamline and consolidate its record systems, DHS is updating and reissuing a DHS/USCG E:\FR\FM\25JNP1.SGM 25JNP1 sroberts on PROD1PC70 with PROPOSALS 30244 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 121 / Thursday, June 25, 2009 / Proposed Rules system of records under the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a) that deals with DHS/ USCG–030 United States Merchant Seamen’s Records. The collection and maintenance of this information will assist DHS/USCG in meeting its obligation to administer the DHS/ USCG–030 United States Merchant Seamen’s Records. The Privacy Act embodies fair information principles in a statutory framework governing the means by which the United States Government collects, maintains, uses, and disseminates 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. Individuals may request their own records that are maintained in a system of records in the possession or under the control of DHS by complying with DHS Privacy Act regulations, 6 CFR part 5. The Privacy Act requires each agency to publish in the Federal Register a description of the type and character of each system of records that the agency maintains, and the routine uses that are contained in each system in order to make agency recordkeeping practices transparent, to notify individuals regarding the uses to which personally identifiable information is put, and to assist individuals in finding such files within the agency. 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–030 United States Merchant Seamen’s Records. Some information in DHS/USCG–030 United States Merchant Seamen’s Records relates to law enforcement. 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; to ensure DHS’s ability to obtain information from third parties and other sources; and to protect VerDate Nov<24>2008 16:01 Jun 24, 2009 Jkt 217001 the privacy of third parties. Disclosure of information to the subject of the inquiry could also permit the subject to avoid detection or apprehension. The exemptions proposed here are standard law enforcement and national security exemptions exercised by a large number of Federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies. In appropriate circumstances, where 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–030 United States Merchant Seamen’s 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 1. The authority citation for part 5 continues to read as follows: Authority: 6 U.S.C. 101 et seq.; Public Law 107–306, 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. 2. Add at the end of Appendix C to Part 5, the following new paragraph ‘‘14’’: Appendix C to Part 5—DHS Systems of Records Exempt From the Privacy Act * * * * * 14. The Department of Homeland Security/ United States Coast Guard—030 Merchant Seaman Records system of records consists of electronic and paper records and will be used by DHS and its components. DHS/USCG–030 Merchant Seaman 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. DHS/USCG–030 Merchant Seaman 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. Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2) this system is exempt from the following provisions of the Privacy Act, subject to the limitations set forth in those subsections: 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3), (d), (e)(1), (e)(4)(G), (e)(4)(H), (e)(4)(I), and (f). 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: PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 (a) From subsection (c)(3) (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 the 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 the 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 impossible administrative burden by requiring investigations to be continuously 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 subsections (e)(4)(G), (e)(4)(H), and (e)(4)(I) (Agency Requirements), and (f) (Agency Rules) because portions of this system are exempt from the individual access provisions of subsection (d) for the reasons noted above, and therefore DHS is not required to establish requirements, rules, or procedures with respect to such access. Providing notice to individuals with respect to existence of records pertaining to them in the system of records or otherwise setting up procedures pursuant to which individuals may access and view records pertaining to themselves in the system would undermine investigative efforts and reveal the identities of witnesses, and potential witnesses, and confidential informants. Dated: June 18, 2009. Mary Ellen Callahan, Chief Privacy Officer, Department of Homeland Security. [FR Doc. E9–14913 Filed 6–24–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–15–P E:\FR\FM\25JNP1.SGM 25JNP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 121 (Thursday, June 25, 2009)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 30243-30244]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-14913]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Office of the Secretary

6 CFR Part 5

[Docket No. DHS-2009-0014]


Privacy Act of 1974: Implementation of Exemptions; United States 
Coast Guard 030 Merchant Seamen's Records

AGENCY: Privacy Office, DHS.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is giving concurrent 
notice of a revised and updated system of records pursuant to the 
Privacy Act of 1974 for the Department of Homeland Security to 
administer the DHS/USCG-028 United States Merchant Seamen's Records 
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. The 
exemptions for the legacy system of records notices will continue to be 
applicable until the final rule for this SORN has been completed.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before July 27, 2009.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by docket number DHS-
2009-0014, by one of the following methods:
     Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Fax: 703-483-2999.
     Mail: Mary Ellen Callahan, Chief Privacy Officer, 
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 and privacy 
issues, please contact: Mary Ellen Callahan (703-235-0780), Chief 
Privacy Officer, Privacy Office, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 
Washington, DC 20528.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
    Background: Pursuant to the savings clause in the Homeland Security 
Act of 2002, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) United States 
Coast Guard (USCG) have relied on preexisting Privacy Act systems of 
records notices for the collection and maintenance of records that 
concern the Department of Homeland Security to administer the DHS/USCG-
028 United States Coast Guard Family Advocacy Program.
    As part of its efforts to streamline and consolidate its record 
systems, DHS is updating and reissuing a DHS/USCG

[[Page 30244]]

system of records under the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a) that deals with 
DHS/USCG-030 United States Merchant Seamen's Records. The collection 
and maintenance of this information will assist DHS/USCG in meeting its 
obligation to administer the DHS/USCG-030 United States Merchant 
Seamen's Records.
    The Privacy Act embodies fair information principles in a statutory 
framework governing the means by which the United States Government 
collects, maintains, uses, and disseminates 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. 
Individuals may request their own records that are maintained in a 
system of records in the possession or under the control of DHS by 
complying with DHS Privacy Act regulations, 6 CFR part 5.
    The Privacy Act requires each agency to publish in the Federal 
Register a description of the type and character of each system of 
records that the agency maintains, and the routine uses that are 
contained in each system in order to make agency recordkeeping 
practices transparent, to notify individuals regarding the uses to 
which personally identifiable information is put, and to assist 
individuals in finding such files within the agency.
    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-030 United States Merchant Seamen's Records. Some 
information in DHS/USCG-030 United States Merchant Seamen's Records 
relates to law enforcement. 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; to ensure DHS's ability to obtain information 
from third parties and other sources; and to protect the privacy of 
third parties. Disclosure of information to the subject of the inquiry 
could also permit the subject to avoid detection or apprehension.
    The exemptions proposed here are standard law enforcement and 
national security exemptions exercised by a large number of Federal law 
enforcement and intelligence agencies. In appropriate circumstances, 
where 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-030 United States 
Merchant Seamen's 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

    1. The authority citation for part 5 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 6 U.S.C. 101 et seq.; Public Law 107-306, 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.

    2. Add at the end of Appendix C to Part 5, the following new 
paragraph ``14'':

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

* * * * *
    14. The Department of Homeland Security/United States Coast 
Guard--030 Merchant Seaman Records system of records consists of 
electronic and paper records and will be used by DHS and its 
components. DHS/USCG-030 Merchant Seaman 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. DHS/USCG-030 Merchant Seaman 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. 
Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2) this system is exempt from the 
following provisions of the Privacy Act, subject to the limitations 
set forth in those subsections: 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3), (d), (e)(1), 
(e)(4)(G), (e)(4)(H), (e)(4)(I), and (f). 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) (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 the 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 the 
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 
impossible administrative burden by requiring investigations to be 
continuously 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 subsections (e)(4)(G), (e)(4)(H), and (e)(4)(I) (Agency 
Requirements), and (f) (Agency Rules) because portions of this 
system are exempt from the individual access provisions of 
subsection (d) for the reasons noted above, and therefore DHS is not 
required to establish requirements, rules, or procedures with 
respect to such access. Providing notice to individuals with respect 
to existence of records pertaining to them in the system of records 
or otherwise setting up procedures pursuant to which individuals may 
access and view records pertaining to themselves in the system would 
undermine investigative efforts and reveal the identities of 
witnesses, and potential witnesses, and confidential informants.

    Dated: June 18, 2009.
Mary Ellen Callahan,
Chief Privacy Officer, Department of Homeland Security.
[FR Doc. E9-14913 Filed 6-24-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-15-P