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Exemption of Records Systems Under the Privacy Act; Correction

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Executive Office for Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF), Department of Justice.

ACTION:

Correcting amendments.

SUMMARY:

The Department of Justice (the Department or DOJ) published a final rule in the Federal Register on November 21, 2013, which added a new section to the Department's Privacy Act exemption regulations to exempt two OCDETF systems of records from certain subsections of the Privacy Act. The final text of the rule incorrectly referred to exempted “subsections” of the Privacy Act as “paragraphs” of the new section. This document corrects the final rule by revising the new section.

DATES:

Effective on December 24, 2013.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jill Aronica, Chief Information Systems Start Printed Page 77586Section, Executive Office for OCDETF, phone 202-514-1860.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The final rule published in the Federal Register on November 21, 2013 (78 FR 69753), added § 16.135 as a new section to the Department's Privacy Act exemption regulations to exempt two OCDETF systems of records from certain subsections of the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a). The final text of rule § 16.135(c) incorrectly referred to exempted “subsections” of the Privacy Act as “paragraphs” of § 16.135. This document corrects the final rule by revising § 16.135(c).

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List of Subjects in 28 CFR Part 16

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Pursuant to the authority vested in the Attorney General by 5 U.S.C. 552a and delegated to me by Attorney General Order 2940-2008, 28 CFR part 16 is corrected by making the following correcting amendments:

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PART 16—PRODUCTION OR DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL OR INFORMATION

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1. The authority citation for part 16 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301, 552, 552a, 552b(g), 553; 18 U.S.C. 4203(a)(1); 28 U.S.C. 509, 510, 534; 31 U.S.C. 3717, 9701.

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Subpart E—Exemption of Records Systems Under the Privacy Act

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2. In § 16.135, revise paragraph (c) introductory text and paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(10) to read as follows:

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Exemptions of Executive Office for Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces Systems.
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(c) Exemptions from the particular subsections are justified for the following reasons:

(1) From subsection (c)(3) because to provide the subject with an accounting of disclosures of records in these systems could inform that individual of the existence, nature, or scope of an actual or potential law enforcement or counterintelligence investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces, the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Fusion Center, the International Organized Crime Intelligence and Operations Center, or the recipient agency, and could permit that individual to take measures to avoid detection or apprehension, to learn of the identity of witnesses and informants, or to destroy evidence, and would therefore present a serious impediment to law enforcement or counterintelligence efforts. In addition, disclosure of the accounting would amount to notice to the individual of the existence of a record. Moreover, release of an accounting may reveal information that is properly classified pursuant to Executive Order.

(2) From subsection (c)(4) because this subsection is inapplicable to the extent that an exemption is being claimed for subsections (d)(1), (2), (3), and (4).

(3) From subsection (d)(1) because disclosure of records in the system could alert the subject of an actual or potential criminal, civil, or regulatory violation of the existence of that investigation, of the nature and scope of the information and evidence obtained as to his or her activities, of the identity of confidential witnesses and informants, of the investigative interest of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces, the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Fusion Center, the International Organized Crime Intelligence and Operations Center, and other intelligence or law enforcement agencies (including those responsible for civil proceedings related to laws against drug trafficking or related financial crimes or international organized crime); could lead to the destruction of evidence, improper influencing of witnesses, fabrication of testimony, and/or flight of the subject; could reveal the details of a sensitive investigative or intelligence technique, or the identity of a confidential source; or could otherwise impede, compromise, or interfere with investigative efforts and other related law enforcement and/or intelligence activities. In addition, disclosure could invade the privacy of third parties and/or endanger the life, health, and physical safety of law enforcement personnel, confidential informants, witnesses, and potential crime victims. Access to records could also result in the release of information properly classified pursuant to Executive Order.

(4) From subsection (d)(2) because amendment of the records thought to be inaccurate, irrelevant, incomplete, or untimely would also interfere with ongoing investigations, criminal or civil law enforcement proceedings, and other law enforcement activities; would impose an impossible administrative burden by requiring investigations, analyses, and reports to be continuously reinvestigated and revised; and may impact information properly classified pursuant to Executive Order.

(5) From subsections (d)(3) and (4) because these subsections are inapplicable to the extent that exemption is claimed from subsections (d)(1) and (2) and for the reasons stated in § 16.135(c)(3) and (c)(4).

(6) From subsection (e)(1) because, in the course of their acquisition, collation, and analysis of information under the statutory authority granted, the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces, the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Fusion Center, and the International Organized Crime Intelligence and Operations Center will occasionally obtain information, including information properly classified pursuant to Executive Order, that concerns actual or potential violations of law that are not strictly within their statutory or other authority or may compile and maintain information which may not be relevant to a specific investigation or prosecution. This is because it is impossible to determine in advance what information collected during an investigation or in support of these mission activities will be important or crucial to an investigation. In the interests of effective law enforcement, it is necessary to retain such information in these systems of records because it can aid in establishing patterns of criminal activity of a suspect and can provide valuable leads for federal and other law enforcement agencies. This consideration applies equally to information acquired from, or collated or analyzed for, both law enforcement agencies and agencies of the U.S. foreign intelligence community and military community.

(7) From subsection (e)(2) because in a criminal, civil, or regulatory investigation, prosecution, or proceeding, the requirement that information be collected to the greatest extent practicable from the subject individual would present a serious impediment to law enforcement because the subject of the investigation, prosecution, or proceeding would be placed on notice as to the existence and nature of the investigation, prosecution, or proceeding and would therefore be able to avoid detection or apprehension, to influence witnesses improperly, to destroy evidence, or to fabricate testimony. Moreover, thorough and effective investigation and prosecution may require seeking information from a number of different sources.

(8) From subsection (e)(3) because to comply with the requirements of this subsection during the course of an investigation could impede the information-gathering process, thus hampering the investigation or intelligence gathering. Disclosure to an individual of investigative interest Start Printed Page 77587would put the subject on notice of that fact and allow the subject an opportunity to engage in conduct intended to impede that activity or avoid apprehension. Disclosure to other individuals would likewise put them on notice of what might still be a sensitive law enforcement interest and could result in the further intentional or accidental disclosure to the subject or other inappropriate recipients, convey information that might constitute unwarranted invasions of the personal privacy of other persons, unnecessarily burden law enforcement personnel in information-collection activities, and chill the willingness of witnesses to cooperate.

(9) From subsections (e)(4)(G) and (H) because this system is exempt from the access and amendment provisions of subsection (d).

(10) From subsection (e)(4)(I) to the extent that this subsection could be interpreted to require more detail regarding system record sources than has been published in the Federal Register. Should this subsection be so interpreted, exemption from this provision is necessary to protect the sources of law enforcement and intelligence information and to protect the privacy and safety of witnesses and informants and other information sources. Further, greater specificity could compromise other sensitive law enforcement information, techniques, and processes.

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Dated: December 5, 2013.

Erika Brown Lee,

Chief Privacy and Civil Liberties Officer, United States Department of Justice.

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[FR Doc. 2013-30067 Filed 12-23-13; 8:45 am]

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