[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 52 (Monday, March 20, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 14384-14386]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-05422]


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DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

[OMB Number 1121-NEW]


Agency Information Collection Activities; Request for Comments; 
Revision of the BJS Confidentiality Pledge

AGENCY: Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY:  The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), a component of the 
Office of Justice Programs (OJP) in the U.S. Department of Justice 
(DOJ), is seeking comments on revisions to the confidentiality pledge 
it provides to its respondents. These revisions are required by the 
passage and implementation of provisions of the federal Cybersecurity 
Enhancement Act of 2015, which requires the Secretary of the Department 
of Homeland Security (DHS) to provide Federal civilian agencies' 
information technology systems with cybersecurity protection for their 
Internet traffic. More details on this announcement are presented in 
the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below.

DATES:  Comments are encouraged and will be accepted for 60 days until 
May 19, 2017.

ADDRESSES:  Questions about this notice should be addressed to the 
Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. 
Department of Justice, ATTN: Devon Adams, 810 7th Street NW., 
Washington, DC 20531 (email: [email protected]; telephone: 202-307-
0765 (this is not a toll-free number).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:  Allina Lee by telephone at 202-305-
0765 (this is not a toll-free number); by email at 
[email protected]; or by

[[Page 14385]]

mail or courier to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice 
Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, ATTN: Allina Lee, 810 7th Street 
NW., Washington, DC 20531. Because of delays in the receipt of regular 
mail related to security screening, respondents are encouraged to use 
electronic communications.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Abstract

    Federal statistics provide key information that the Nation uses to 
measure its performance and make informed choices about budgets, 
employment, health, investments, taxes, and a host of other significant 
topics. Most federal surveys are completed on a voluntary basis. 
Respondents, ranging from businesses to households to institutions, may 
choose whether or not to provide the requested information. Many of the 
most valuable federal statistics come from surveys that ask for highly 
sensitive information such as proprietary business data from companies 
or particularly personal information or practices from individuals. BJS 
protects all personally identifiable information collected under its 
authority under the confidentiality provisions of 42 U.S.C. 3789g. 
Strong and trusted confidentiality and exclusively statistical use 
pledges under Title 42 U.S.C. 3789g and similar statutes are effective 
and necessary in honoring the trust that businesses, individuals, and 
institutions, by their responses, place in statistical agencies.
    Under statistical confidentiality protection statutes, federal 
statistical agencies make statutory pledges that the information 
respondents provide will be seen only by statistical agency personnel 
or their agents and will be used only for statistical purposes. These 
statutes protect such statistical information from administrative, law 
enforcement, taxation, regulatory, or any other non-statistical use and 
immunize the information submitted to statistical agencies from legal 
process. Moreover, many of these statutes carry monetary fines and/or 
criminal penalties for conviction of a knowing and willful unauthorized 
disclosure of covered information. Any person violating the 
confidentiality provisions of 42 U.S.C. 3789g may be punished by a fine 
of up to $10,000, in addition to any other penalties imposed by law.
    As part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2016 
(Pub. L. 114-113) signed on December 17, 2015, the Congress included 
the Federal Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2015 (codified in relevant 
part at 6 U.S.C. 151). This act, among other provisions, permits and 
requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to provide federal civilian 
agencies' information technology systems with cybersecurity protection 
for their Internet traffic. The technology currently used to provide 
this protection against cyber malware is known as Einstein 3A. Einstein 
3A electronically searches internet traffic in and out of federal 
civilian agencies in real time for malware signatures.
    When such a signature is found, the internet packets that contain 
the malware signature are shunted aside for further inspection by DHS 
personnel. Because it is possible that such packets entering or leaving 
a statistical agency's information technology system may contain a 
small portion of confidential statistical data, statistical agencies 
can no longer promise their respondents that their responses will be 
seen only by statistical agency personnel or their agents. However, 
federal statistical agencies can promise, in accordance with provisions 
of the Federal Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2015, that such 
monitoring can be used only to protect information and information 
systems from cybersecurity risks, thereby, in effect, providing 
stronger protection to the integrity of the respondents' submissions.
    Consequently, with the passage of the Federal Cybersecurity 
Enhancement Act of 2015, the federal statistical community has an 
opportunity to welcome the further protection of its confidential data 
offered by DHS' Einstein 3A cybersecurity protection program. The DHS 
cybersecurity program's objective is to protect federal civilian 
information systems from malicious malware attacks. The federal 
statistical system's objective is to endeavor to ensure that the DHS 
Secretary performs those essential duties in a manner that honors the 
statistical agencies' statutory promises to the public to protect their 
confidential data. DHS and the federal statistical system have been 
successfully engaged in finding a way to balance both objectives and 
achieve these mutually reinforcing objectives.
    However, pledges of confidentiality made pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 
3789g and similar statutes assure respondents that their data will be 
seen only by statistical agency personnel or their agents. Because it 
is possible that DHS personnel could see some portion of those 
confidential data in the course of examining the suspicious Internet 
packets identified by Einstein 3A sensors, statistical agencies are 
revising their confidentiality pledges to reflect this process change. 
Therefore, BJS is providing this notice to alert the public to these 
confidentiality pledge revisions in an efficient and coordinated 
fashion.

II. Method of Collection

    The following is the revised statistical confidentiality pledge for 
applicable BJS data collections, with the new line added to address the 
new cybersecurity monitoring activities bolded for reference only:
    ``The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) is authorized to conduct 
this data collection under 42 U.S.C. 3732. BJS is dedicated to 
maintaining the confidentiality of your personally identifiable 
information, and will protect it to the fullest extent under federal 
law. BJS, BJS employees, and BJS data collection agents will use the 
information you provide for statistical or research purposes only, and 
will not disclose your information in identifiable form without your 
consent to anyone outside of the BJS project team. All personally 
identifiable data collected under BJS's authority are protected under 
the confidentiality provisions of 42 U.S.C. 3789g, and any person who 
violates these provisions may be punished by a fine up to $10,000, in 
addition to any other penalties imposed by law. Further, per the 
Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2015 (codified in relevant part at 6 
U.S.C. 151), federal information systems are protected from malicious 
activities through cybersecurity screening of transmitted data. For 
more information on the federal statutes, regulations, and other 
authorities that govern how BJS, BJS employees, and BJS data collection 
agents collect, handle, store, disseminate, and protect your 
information, see the BJS Data Protection Guidelines--(https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/BJS_Data_Protection_Guidelines.pdf).''
    The following listing shows the current BJS Paperwork Reduction Act 
(PRA) OMB numbers and information collection titles whose 
confidentiality pledges will change to reflect the statutory 
implementation of DHS' Einstein 3A monitoring for cybersecurity 
protection purposes.

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          OMB  control No.               Information collection title
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1121-0094...........................  Deaths in Custody Reporting
                                       Program.
1121-0065...........................  National Corrections Reporting
                                       Program.
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    Affected Public: Survey respondents to applicable BJS information 
collections.

[[Page 14386]]

    Total Respondents: Unchanged from current collection.
    Frequency: Unchanged from current collection.
    Total Responses: Unchanged from current collection.
    Average Time per Response: Unchanged from current collection.
    Estimated Total Burden Hours: Unchanged from current collection.
    Estimated Total Cost: Unchanged from current collection.
    BJS has also added information about the Cybersecurity Enhancement 
Act and Einstein 3A to the BJS Data Protection Guidelines to provide 
more details to interested respondents about the new cybersecurity 
monitoring requirements. The following text has been added to Section 
V. Information System Security and Privacy Requirements:
    ``The Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2015 (codified in relevant 
part at 6 U.S.C. 151) required the Department of Homeland Security 
(DHS) to provide cybersecurity protection for federal civilian agency 
information technology systems and to conduct cybersecurity screening 
of the Internet traffic going in and out of these systems to look for 
viruses, malware, and other cybersecurity threats. DHS has implemented 
this requirement by instituting procedures such that, if a potentially 
malicious malware signature were found, the Internet packets that 
contain the malware signature would be further inspected, pursuant to 
any required legal process, to identify and mitigate the cybersecurity 
threat. In accordance with the Act's provisions, DHS conducts these 
cybersecurity screening activities solely to protect federal 
information and information systems from cybersecurity risks. To comply 
with the Act's requirements and to increase the protection of 
information from cybersecurity threats, OJP facilitates, through the 
DOJ Trusted Internet Connection and DHS's EINSTEIN 3A system, the 
inspection of all information transmitted to and from OJP systems 
including, but not limited to, respondent data collected and maintained 
by BJS.''
    The Census Bureau collects data on behalf of BJS for BJS's National 
Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) and its supplements. These 
collections are protected under Title 13 U.S.C. 9. The Census Bureau 
issued a Federal Register notice (FRN) to revise its confidentiality 
pledge language to address the new cybersecurity screening requirements 
(new line bolded for reference only):
    ``The U.S. Census Bureau is required by law to protect your 
information. The Census Bureau is not permitted to publicly release 
your responses in a way that could identify you. Per the Federal 
Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2015, your data are protected from 
cybersecurity risks through screening of the systems that transmit your 
data.''
    The following listing includes the BJS information collections that 
are administered by the Census Bureau whose confidentiality pledge will 
be revised.

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          OMB  control No.               Information collection title
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1121-0111...........................  NCVS.
1121-0184...........................  School Crime Supplement to the
                                       NCVS.
1121-0317...........................  Identity Theft Supplement to the
                                       NCVS.
1121-0260...........................  Police Public Contact Supplement
                                       to the NCVS.
1121-0302...........................  Supplemental Victimization Survey
                                       to the NCVS.
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    Affected Public: Survey respondents to applicable BJS information 
collections.
    Total Respondents: Unchanged from current collection.
    Frequency: Unchanged from current collection.
    Total Responses: Unchanged from current collection.
    Average Time per Response: Unchanged from current collection.
    Estimated Total Burden Hours: Unchanged from current collection.
    Estimated Total Cost: Unchanged from current collection.
    The 60-day FRN submitted by the Census Bureau can be accessed at 
https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/12/23/2016-30959/agency-information-collection-activities-request-for-comments-revision-of-the-confidentiality-pledge. The Census Bureau will publish a 30-day FRN to 
solicit additional public comment. Comments on the Census Bureau's 
revised confidentiality pledge should be submitted directly to the 
point-of-contact listed in the notice.

III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 1121-0358.
    Legal Authority: 44 U.S.C. 3506(e) and 42 U.S.C. 3789g.
    Form Number(s): None.

IV. Request for Comments

    Comments are invited on the efficacy of BJS's revised 
confidentiality pledge above. Comments submitted in response to this 
notice will become a matter of public record. If additional information 
is required contact: Melody Braswell, Department Clearance Officer, 
United States Department of Justice, Justice Management Division, 
Policy and Planning Staff, Two Constitution Square, 145 N Street NE., 
3E.405A, Washington, DC 20530.

    Dated: March 15, 2017.
Melody Braswell,
Department Clearance Officer for PRA, U.S. Department of Justice.
[FR Doc. 2017-05422 Filed 3-17-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4410-18-P