[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 248 (Tuesday, December 28, 2010)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 81371-81372]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-32540]



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Rules and Regulations
                                                Federal Register
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Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 248 / Tuesday, December 28, 2010 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 81371]]



DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Office of the Secretary

6 CFR Part 5

[Docket No. DHS-2010-0088]


Privacy Act of 1974: Implementation of Exemptions; Department of 
Homeland Security/United States Citizenship and Immigration Services-
012 Citizenship and Immigration Data Repository System of Records

AGENCY: Privacy Office, DHS.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Department of Homeland Security is issuing a final rule to 
amend its regulations to exempt portions of a newly established system 
of records titled ``Department of Homeland Security/United States 
Citizenship and Immigration Services-012 Citizenship and Immigration 
Data Repository System of Records'' from certain provisions of the 
Privacy Act. Specifically, the Department exempts portions of the 
``Department of Homeland Security/United States Citizenship and 
Immigration Services-012 Citizenship and Immigration Data Repository 
System of Records'' from one or more provisions of the Privacy Act 
because of criminal, civil, and administrative enforcement 
requirements.

DATES: Effective Date: This final rule is effective December 28, 2010.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For general questions please contact: 
Donald K. Hawkins (202-272-8000), Privacy Officer, U.S. Citizenship and 
Immigration Services, 20 Massachusetts Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 
20529. For privacy issues please contact: Mary Ellen Callahan, Chief 
Privacy Officer, Privacy Office, Department of Homeland Security, 
Washington, DC 20528.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) United States Citizenship 
and Immigration Service (USCIS) published a notice of proposed 
rulemaking in the Federal Register, 75 FR 54528, September 8, 2010, 
proposing 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 system of records is the 
DHS/USCIS-012 Citizenship and Immigration Data Repository (CIDR) System 
of Records. The DHS/USCIS-012 CIDR System of Records notice was 
published concurrently in the Federal Register, 75 FR 54642, September 
8, 2010. Comments were invited on both the Notice of Proposed 
Rulemaking (NPRM) and System of Records Notice (SORN).

Public Comments

    DHS received six comments on the NPRM. Of the six comments, one was 
submitted in duplicate. No comments were received on the SORN.
    Three of the five original comments received were generally in 
support of the proposed rule. Two commentors expressed opposition 
generally to DHS' collection and use of personally identifiable 
information (PII) for any reason other than to investigate individuals 
who may have violated the law. The Privacy Act of 1974 permits a 
federal agency, including DHS, to collect information pertaining to 
individuals provided that it has the requisite statutory authority to 
do so. The Privacy Act requires federal agencies to publish in the 
Federal Register a description denoting the type and character of each 
system of records that the agency maintains including the authority, 
purpose, category of records, and routine uses in order to make agency 
recordkeeping practices transparent, to notify individuals regarding 
the uses to which PII is put, and to assist individuals to more easily 
find such files within the agency. DHS met these requirements with the 
publication of the DHS/USCIS-012 CIDR SORN on September 10, 2010 in the 
Federal Register. As noted in DHS/USCIS-012 CIDR SORN, the authority to 
collect information within CIDR is Sec. Sec.  101 and 103 of the 
Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended (8 U.S.C. 1101 and 1103), 
and the regulations issued pursuant thereto; Sec.  451 of the Homeland 
Security Act of 2002 (Pub. L. 107-296); E.O. 12958; E.O. 13356; E.O. 
13388; and E.O. 12333.
    In addition, as set forth in the DHS/USCIS-012 CIDR SORN, the CIDR 
system will not collect any new information, but rather, is a mirror 
copy of USCIS's major immigrant and non-immigrant benefits databases 
combined into a single user interface and presented in an updated, 
searchable format on the classified network. This system takes existing 
USCIS data and recompiles them into a system for the following three 
purposes: (1) Vetting USCIS application information for indications of 
possible immigration fraud and national security concerns; (2) 
detecting possible fraud and misuse of immigration information or 
position by USCIS employees, for personal gain or by coercion; and (3) 
to respond to requests for information (RFIs) from the DHS Office of 
Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) and/or the federal intelligence and law 
enforcement community members that are based on classified criteria.
    After consideration of public comments, the Department will 
implement the rulemaking as proposed.

List of Subjects in 6 CFR Part 5

    Freedom of information; Privacy.

0
For the reasons stated in the preamble, DHS amends Chapter I of Title 
6, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows:

PART 5--DISCLOSURE OF RECORDS AND INFORMATION

0
1. The authority citation for part 5 continues 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 
``53'':

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

* * * * *
    53. The DHS/USCIS-012 CIDR System of Records consists of 
electronic and paper records and will be used by DHS and its 
components. The DHS/USCIS-012 CIDR 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

[[Page 81372]]

of civil and criminal laws; investigations, inquiries, and 
proceedings thereunder; national security and intelligence 
activities; and protection of the President of the U.S. or other 
individuals pursuant to Section 3056 and 3056A of Title 18. The DHS/
USCIS-012 CIDR 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 PII collected by other 
federal, state, local, tribal, foreign, or international government 
agencies. The Secretary of Homeland Security has exempted this 
system from the following provisions of the Privacy Act, subject to 
limitations set forth in 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3); (d); (e)(1), 
(e)(4)(G), (e)(4)(H), (e)(4)(I); and (f) pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a 
(k)(1) and (k)(2). 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 
could 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: December 14, 2010.
Mary Ellen Callahan,
Chief Privacy Officer, Department of Homeland Security.
[FR Doc. 2010-32540 Filed 12-27-10; 8:45 am]
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