[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 63 (Wednesday, April 2, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 18441-18442]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-07386]



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Rules and Regulations
                                                Federal Register
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Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 63 / Wednesday, April 2, 2014 / Rules 
and Regulations

[[Page 18441]]



DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Office of the Secretary

6 CFR Part 5

[Docket No. DHS-2013-0012]


Privacy Act of 1974: Implementation of Exemptions; Department of 
Homeland Security U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement--014 
Homeland Security Investigations Forensic Laboratory System of Records

AGENCY: Privacy Office, Department of Homeland Security.

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 the ``Department of 
Homeland Security/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement--014 
Homeland Security Investigations Forensic Laboratory System of 
Records'' from certain provisions of the Privacy Act. Specifically, the 
Department exempts portions of the ``Department of Homeland Security/
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement--014 Homeland Security 
Investigations Forensic Laboratory 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 April 2, 2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For general questions please contact: 
Lyn Rahilly, Privacy Officer, (202-732-3300), U.S. Immigration and 
Customs Enforcement, 500 12th Street SW., Mail Stop 5004, Washington, 
DC 20536, email: ICEPrivacy@ice.dhs.gov. For privacy issues please 
contact: Karen L. Neuman (202-343-1717), Chief Privacy Officer, Privacy 
Office, Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC 20528.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) U.S. Immigration and 
Customs Enforcement (ICE) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking 
(NPRM) in the Federal Register, 78 FR 28761, May 16, 2013, 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/ICE-014 
Homeland Security Investigations Forensic Laboratory (HSI-FL) System of 
Records. The DHS/ICE--014 HSI-FL System of Records Notice (SORN) was 
published concurrently in the Federal Register, 78 FR 28867, May 16, 
2013, and comments were invited on both the NPRM and the SORN.

Public Comments

    DHS received one computer-generated comment on the NPRM and no 
comments on the SORN. The comment on the NPRM did not pertain to the 
proposed rulemaking or the system of records. Accordingly, the 
Department will implement the rulemaking as proposed.

List of Subjects in 6 CFR Part 5

    Freedom of information, Privacy.

    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 
``72'' to read as follows:

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

* * * * *
    72. The DHS/ICE-014 Homeland Security Investigations Forensic 
Laboratory System of Records consists of electronic and paper 
records that will be used by DHS and its components. The DHS/ICE-014 
Homeland Security Investigations Forensic Laboratory System of 
Records contains records of evidence and cases submitted to the HSI-
FL. This information will include information on the individual 
submitting the request, identify the evidence submitted, track the 
evidence as it moves throughout the HSI-FL, capture case notes and 
results of examinations, store electronic images of evidence, and 
produce reports of findings. Other case-related records are 
maintained, including descriptions of expert witness testimony 
provided by HSI-FL employees. Records in the DHS/ICE-014 Homeland 
Security Investigations Forensic Laboratory System of Records also 
include the library of genuine, altered, and counterfeit travel and 
identity documents provided to the HSI-FL by international 
organizations, government agencies, and law enforcement 
organizations from across the United States and around the world to 
research methods of document production and authenticate documents 
through comparative forensic examinations. The DHS/ICE-014 Homeland 
Security Investigations Forensic Laboratory 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 (PII) collected by other 
federal, state, local, tribal, foreign, or international government 
agencies. The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, 
pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2), 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), (c)(4); (d); (e)(1), (e)(2), (e)(3), 
(e)(4)(G), (e)(4)(H), (e)(4)(I), (e)(5), (e)(8); (f); 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, 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). Where 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

[[Page 18442]]

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 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.
    (g) 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.
    (i) From subsection (g)(1) (Civil Remedies) to the extent that 
the system is exempt from other specific subsections of the Privacy 
Act.

    Dated: March 6, 2014.
Karen L. Neuman,
Chief Privacy Officer, Department of Homeland Security.
[FR Doc. 2014-07386 Filed 4-1-14; 8:45 am]
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