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Proposed Rule

Privacy Act; Implementation

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

National Security Agency/Central Security Services.

ACTION:

Proposed rule.

SUMMARY:

The National Security Agency/Central Security Services (NSA/CSS) is proposing to add an exemption rule for the system of records GNSA20, entitled ‘NSA Police Operational Files’. The exemptions increase the value of the system of records for law enforcement purposes.

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before October 8, 2004 to be considered by this agency.

ADDRESSES:

Send comments to the NSA/CSS Office of Policy, 9800 Savage Road, Suite 6248, Ft. George G. Meade, MD 20755-6248.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ms. Anne Hill at (301) 688-6527.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Executive Order 12866

It has been determined that this Privacy Act rule for the Department of Defense does not constitute ‘significant Start Printed Page 48184regulatory action’. Analysis of the rule indicates that it does not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more; does not create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; does not materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; does not raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in Executive Order 12866 (1993).

Regulatory Flexibility Act

It has been determined that this Privacy Act rule for the Department of Defense does not have significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because it is concerned only with the administration of Privacy Act systems of records within the Department of Defense.

Paperwork Reduction Act

It has been determined that this Privacy Act rule for the Department of Defense imposes no information requirements beyond the Department of Defense and that the information collected within the Department of Defense is necessary and consistent with 5 U.S.C. 552a, known as the Privacy Act of 1974.

Section 202, Public Law 104-4, “Unfunded Mandates Reform Act”

It has been determined that this Privacy Act rulemaking for the Department of Defense does not involve a Federal mandate that may result in the expenditure by State, local and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more and that such rulemaking will not significantly or uniquely affect small governments.

Executive Order 13132, “Federalism”

It has been determined that this Privacy Act rule for the Department of Defense does not have federalism implications. The rule does not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the National Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

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List of Subjects in 32 CFR Part 322

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1. The authority citation for 32 CFR part 322 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: Pub. L. 93-579, 88 Stat. 1896 (5 U.S.C. 552a). 2. Amend Section 322.7, by adding a new paragraph (q) as follows:

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Exempt systems of records.
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(q) GNSA 20.

(1) System name: NSA Police Operational Files.

(2) Exemption: (i) Investigatory material compiled for law enforcement purposes, other than material within the scope of 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2), may be exempt pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2). However, if an individual is denied any right, privilege, or benefit for which he would otherwise be entitled by Federal law or for which he would otherwise be eligible, as a result of the maintenance of the information, the individual will be provided access to the information exempt to the extent that disclosure would reveal the identify of a confidential source. NOTE: When claimed, this exemption allows limited protection of investigative reports maintained in a system of records used in personnel or administrative actions.

(ii) Records maintained solely for statistical research or program evaluation purposes and which are not used to make decisions on the rights, benefits, or entitlement of an individual except for census records which may be disclosed under 13 U.S.C. 8, may be exempt pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(4).

(iii) Investigatory material compiled solely for the purpose of determining suitability, eligibility, or qualifications for federal civilian employment, military service, federal contracts, or access to classified information may be exempt pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(5), but only to the extent that such material would reveal the identity of a confidential source.

(iv) All portions of this system of records which fall within the scope of 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2), (k)(4), and (k)(5) may be exempt from the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3), (d), (e)(1), (e)(4)(G), (e)(4)(H), (e)(4)(I) and (f).

(3) Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2), (k)(4), and (k)(5).

(4) Reasons: (i) From subsection (c)(3) because the release of the disclosure accounting would place the subject of an investigation on notice that they are under investigation and provide them with significant information concerning the nature of the investigation, thus resulting in a serious impediment to law enforcement investigations.

(ii) From subsections (d) and (f) because providing access to records of a civil or administrative investigation and the right to contest the contents of those records and force changes to be made to the information contained therein would seriously interfere with and thwart the orderly and unbiased conduct of the investigation and impede case preparation. Providing access rights normally afforded under the Privacy Act would provide the subject with valuable information that would allow interference with or compromise of witnesses or render witnesses reluctant to cooperate; lead to suppression, alteration, or destruction of evidence; enable individuals to conceal their wrongdoing or mislead the course of the investigation; and result in the secreting of or other disposition of assets that would make them difficult or impossible to reach in order to satisfy any Government claim growing out of the investigation or proceeding.

(iii) From subsection (e)(1) because it is not always possible to detect the relevance or necessity of each piece of information in the early stages of an investigation. In some cases, it is only after the information is evaluated in light of other evidence that its relevance and necessity will be clear.

(iv) From subsections (e)(4)(G) and (H) because this system of records is compiled for investigative purposes and is exempt from the access provisions of subsections (d) and (f).

(v) From subsection (e)(4)(I) because to the extent that this provision is construed to require more detailed disclosure than the broad, generic information currently published in the system notice, an exemption from this provision is necessary to protect the confidentiality of sources of information and to protect privacy and physical safety of witnesses and informants.

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Dated: August 3, 2004.

L.M. Bynum,

Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.

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[FR Doc. 04-18079 Filed 8-6-04; 8:45 am]

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