§ 16.137 Exemption of the Department of Justice Insider Threat Program Records—limited access.


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  • (a) The Department of Justice Insider Threat Program Records (JUSTICE/DOJ-018) system of records is exempted from subsections 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3) and (4); (d)(1), (2), (3) and (4); (e)(1), (2) and (3); (e)(4)(G), (H) and (I); (e)(5) and (8); (f) and (g) of the Privacy Act. These exemptions apply only to the extent that information in this system is subject to exemption pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(j) or (k). Where DOJ determines compliance would not appear to interfere with or adversely affect the purpose of this system to detect, deter, and/or mitigate insider threats, the applicable exemption may be waived by the DOJ in its sole discretion.

    (b) Exemptions from the particular subsections are justified for the following reasons:

    (1) From subsection (c)(3), the requirement that an accounting be made available to the named subject of a record, because this system is exempt from the access provisions of subsection (d). Also, because making available to a record subject the accounting of disclosures of records concerning him/her would specifically reveal any insider threat-related interest in the individual by the DOJ or agencies that are recipients of the disclosures. Revealing this information could compromise ongoing, authorized law enforcement and intelligence efforts, particularly efforts to identify and/or mitigate insider threats. Revealing this information could also permit the record subject to obtain valuable insight concerning the information obtained during any investigation and to take measures to impede the investigation, e.g., destroy evidence or flee the area to avoid the investigation.

    (2) From subsection (c)(4) notification requirements because this system is exempt from the access and amendment provisions of subsection (d) as well as the accounting of disclosures provision of subsection (c)(3). The DOJ takes seriously its obligation to maintain accurate records despite its assertion of this exemption, and to the extent it, in its sole discretion, agrees to permit amendment or correction of DOJ records, it will share that information in appropriate cases.

    (3) From subsection (d)(1), (2), (3) and (4), (e)(4)(G) and (H), (e)(8), (f) and (g) because these provisions concern individual access to and amendment of law enforcement, intelligence and counterintelligence, and counterterrorism records, and compliance with these provisions could alert the subject of an authorized law enforcement or intelligence activity about that particular activity and the interest of the DOJ and/or other law enforcement or intelligence agencies. Providing access could compromise or lead to the compromise of information classified to protect national security; disclose information that would constitute an unwarranted invasion of another's personal privacy; reveal a sensitive investigative or intelligence technique; disclose or lead to disclosure of information that would allow a subject to avoid detection or apprehension; or constitute a potential danger to the health or safety of law enforcement personnel, confidential sources, or witnesses.

    (4) From subsection (e)(1) because it is not always possible to know in advance what information is relevant and necessary for law enforcement and intelligence purposes. The relevance and utility of certain information that may have a nexus to insider threats may not always be fully evident until and unless it is vetted and matched with other information necessarily and lawfully maintained by the DOJ.

    (5) From subsection (e)(2) and (3) because application of these provisions could present a serious impediment to efforts to detect, deter and/or mitigate insider threats. Application of these provisions would put the subject of an investigation on notice of the investigation and allow the subject an opportunity to engage in conduct intended to impede the investigative activity or avoid apprehension.

    (6) From subsection (e)(4)(I), to the extent that this subsection is interpreted to require more detail regarding the record sources in this system than has been published in the Federal Register. Should the 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 others who provide information to the DOJ. Further, greater specificity of sources of properly classified records could compromise national security.

    (7) From subsection (e)(5) because in the collection of information for authorized law enforcement and intelligence purposes, including efforts to detect, deter, and/or mitigate insider threats, due to the nature of investigations and intelligence collection, the DOJ often collects information that may not be immediately shown to be accurate, relevant, timely, and complete, although the DOJ takes reasonable steps to collect only the information necessary to support its mission and investigations. Additionally, the information may aid DOJ in establishing patterns of activity and provide criminal or intelligence leads. It could impede investigative progress if it were necessary to assure relevance, accuracy, timeliness and completeness of all information obtained throughout the course and within the scope of an investigation. Further, some of the records in this system may come from other domestic or foreign government entities, or private entities, and it would not be administratively feasible for the DOJ to vouch for the compliance of these agencies with this provision.

    [82 FR 43176, Sept. 14, 2017]

[82 FR 43176, Sept. 14, 2017