TN 4 (02-20)

GN 03312.085 National Security Situations

A. Types of national security situations

National security situations include:

  • threats against high government officials (e.g., the President); and

  • possible espionage, terrorism, hijacking, hostage taking, or bombing.

B. Authority to disclose

Due to the seriousness of these crimes, we may disclose program or non-program information upon receipt of a valid law enforcement request. In these cases, we need not limit disclosures of program information to only the situations described in 20 C.F.R. § 401.155. Instead, we may disclose this information under the “ad hoc” authority granted to the Commissioner of Social Security (or designee) in our regulations (20 C.F.R. § 401.195) (for additional information, see GN 03312.001 and GN 03316.140), which allows disclosures that are not specifically authorized by our regulations if the disclosure is not prohibited by law, and the broader Privacy Act law enforcement exception. 5 U.S.C. § 552a(b)(7).

If we do not have a valid law enforcement request for the information, we may disclose information under the “health and safety” disclosure exception of the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. § 552a(b)(8)). See GN 03316.135 for additional information.

If both the health and safety exception and law enforcement exception do not apply, we can disclose information based solely on our ad hoc authority if the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. § 552a) and other Federal law would not prohibit disclosure.

C. Procedure for disclosure

Components should contact the agency Privacy Officer immediately, through the component Privacy Act or Security Coordinator, for all requests involving national security situations. If the Privacy Act or Security Coordinator is not available, contact the agency Privacy Officer directly at (410) 966-4193 or (410) 966-9048, fax 410-966-0869. In most cases, the Privacy Officer will in turn make a referral to the Commissioner.

Immediately find out as much information as possible about the crime, the requester's position in the law enforcement agency, and the information requested, before referring the case to the agency Privacy Officer. You may ask the requester to fax a written request in order to expedite the request.

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GN 03312.085 - National Security Situations - 02/19/2020
Batch run: 02/19/2020