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Subcommittee Analysis

The Federal Communications Commission response states that it maintains twelve data banks which contain personal information. I. Index


Description: (1) Purpose; (2) Contents


A. Personnel inventory master file (com- (1) To increase "the efficiency of the Commisputerized).

sion's personnel management and to make
basic personnel information more readily

(2) Name, address, date of birth, dates of service
with the FCC, pay plan and occupation code,
current grade level and assignment within
the Commission, basic educational back-
ground, previous work experience, awards,
and training.

1,550 "current employees of the FCC."

B. Payroll master record (computerized)... (1) To maintain accurate, up-to-date, readily Approximately 1,600.

available information on individual and
gross payroll accounts of the Commission."

(2) "Basic payroll information.


C. Political broadcasting by candidates (1) "To facilitate the Commission's regulatory All Presidential, con(computerized).

authority over political broadcasting as set
out in sec. 315 of the Communications Act
and in the Federal Election Campaign Act
of 1971."

(2) "Amount spent by each candidate at each
station for broadcast time as well as the
amount of time that was made available
without charge."

D. Broadcast individual ownership master (1) "To determine if licenses are operating in
file (computerized).

compliance with provisions of the act,
Commission regulation(s), and Commis-
sion policies with regard to broadcast
station ownership.'

(2) "Information is limited to interests in broad-
cast stations and includes such information
as extent of stockholdings, type of stock,
par or stated value, whether officer, direc-
tor, or trustee, and relationship among

gressional, gubernatorial, and lieutenant gubernatorial races, including primaries.

All persons having ownership interests in television and radio broadcast stations.

E. Broadcast financial data (computerized)... (1) "Established in furtherance of the Commis- NG.

sion's statutory responsibility under sec.
308(b) of the Communications Act to con-
sider financial qualifications in modifying
and renewing licenses and under its more
general obligation under sec. 307(d) to
renew a license only upon a finding that the
public interest will be served thereby.'
(2) "Financial information on networks and
broadcast stations.


F. Broadcast station list (computerized)... (1) To facilitate recordkeeping and to provide

G. Aviation radio service list (computerized).

H. Restricted and commercial operator permits (computerized).

rapid access to basic data on broadcast

(2) Information supplied by applicants for new
licenses and renewal of licenses for radio
and television (specific contents of data bank
were not indicated in agency's response).
(1) To review application....
(2) Not clear; at least name and number of aircraft.
(1) Application for radio operator license...
(2) Name, serial number, and date of grant.

1. Amateur radio service (computerized).... (1) Application....

(2) Identification of applicant, and vessel data.

26,500 applicants for new licenses and renewal of licenses.




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K. Citizens radio service list (computerized).. (1) For efficient recordkeeping; to update records 891,638.

L. FCC checklist (computerized)...

as licensees are added and removed; to pro-
vide mailing lists for Commission notices
and orders; and for statistical and planning

(2) Name, address, and assigned call numbers.
(1) To assist "the Commission in carrying out its 12,000.
statutory responsibilities under title III of
the Communications Act to consider the
qualifications of applicants for licenses and
grant only those which serve the public

(2) Name, address, date of birth, and a code indi-
cating why their name appears on the list.

II. Nature of Material Submitted

The FCC's initial response to the subcommittee's inquiry was incomplete and further information was requested. A second response was generally comprehensive with the exception of information concerning security precautions which was omitted entirely.

III. Comments

A. Statutory Authority

The information on statutory authority is presented below in Table 1.

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D. Broadcast individual ownership master Derivative... Necessary to implement sec. 307(b) of the Communicafile.

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tions Act requiring the Commission to consider
ownership qualifications of applicants for licenses or
renewals thereof and sec. 310, which imposes limita-
tions on alien ownership interests.
Implicit in the FCC's statutory authority under sec.
308(b) to consider financial qualifications in modifying
and renewing licenses and sec. 307(d) to renew a
license only upon a finding that the public interest
will be served thereby.

Implicit in the FCC's statutory authority under title III
of the Communications Act.
Same as F.






1 All section references in table 1 are to the Communications Act unless otherwise stated.

B. Subject Notification and Access

Although subjects are not expressly notified of their inclusion in the FCC data banks, in most instances they would be aware that a

file is maintained on them because in most instances they provide information to the Commission on applications. In all cases subjects are permitted to review the information maintained by the FCC, and although no formal procedures for supplementation exist, the Commission will consider new information which supplements, explains or rebuts information in the data system. In addition, agency personne are responsible for the accuracy of the records.

C. Access by Other Agencies

Information on public and agency access is presented below in Table 2. The agency indicated in its response that the FCC data banks are not interfaced with those of any other agency.

D. Public Access

Information on public and agency access is presented below in Table 2.

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1 Civil Service Commission has access to information in the personnel inventory master file. Other agencies have access in accordance with CSC regulations.

2 Information in the FCC checklist data bank is normally not available to other agencies except as to those names another agency may have itself supplied.

E. Security Precautions

The FCC does not enumerate the specific measures taken to prevent unauthorized access to its data banks, but it did indicate that the same security procedures are followed for the data files as are followed for other Commission records and business premises.

F. Sources of Information

The information in the FCC's data banks, with a few exceptions, is collected from the individual subject or licensee. In addition to information collected from the individual, the Personnel Inventory Master File contains information from other sources within the Commission. The information in the Payroll Master Record is collected from the Commission's Payroll Section.

The information in the FCC Checklist data bank is collected from the following sources: Commission officials supply names for such reasons as license revocation, failure to pay forfeitures, issuance of a bad check to the Commission and stopping payment on a check to the Commission; the FBI supplies information from the "FBI Withhold List," which contains the names of individuals and organizations which are allegedly subversive; the Department of Justice 20-550 0-74-pt. 5- -26

supplies the Commission with the "Organized Crime and Racketeering List," which contains the names of individuals who are or have been subjects of investigations in connection with activities identified with organized crime; also included are names supplied by the IRS, CIA, and House Committee on Internal Security.

IV. Evaluation

There are several aspects of the FCC data system which deserve attention. First, the agency does not expressly notify the individual subject or licensee of his inclusion in a data bank. While some subjects may be aware of their inclusion through dealings with the agency (e.g., applications and other forms submitted to the agency), others who haven't any contact with the Commission receive no notice whatsoever. Second, the Commission maintains highly sensitive information, particularly in the FCC Checklist data bank, which, if released to unauthorized persons, may be detrimental to the subject. Stringent security precautions are essential to prevent such unauthorized disclosure. Finally, there is no express statutory authority for the creation of the FCC Checklist data bank which, as previously indicated, contains information of a highly sensitive nature.

Agency Response

On December 14, 1970 the subcommittee requested that the Federal Communications Commission respond to the three introductory questions and the standard questionnaire. (See inside back cover.) The Federal Communications Commission's responses of March 25, 1971 and March 1, 1973 appear below.

Hon. SAM J. ERVIN, Jr.,
U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C., March 25, 1971.

DEAR SENATOR Ervin: This is in response to your letter dated December 14, 1970, concerning a government-wide survey of federally-administered or federallysponsored data banks containing personal information about individuals for statistical, administrative or intelligence purposes.

We are enclosing an October 1968 booklet (Enclosure 1) describing the FCC computer program and history. [Omitted.] The booklet sets forth current programs as well as proposed programs, many of which are technical and engineering matters which do not appear germane to your inquiry. Listed below are data banks which do appear to be responsive to your request for information. Each item indicates whether or not it is available for public inspection as well as if we are able to furnish a sample of the type of information stored.


Sample Printout and Schedule of Printouts with descriptions [list of contents included-Attachment 1]. Roster contains approximately 1,550 persons currently employed by the Commission. Personal data associated with each employee are not routinely available for public inspection.


List of the information contained therein [Attachment 2]. Payroll record contains approximately 1,550 persons. Data are not routinely available for public inspection.


List of information concerning Campaign 1970 for all Senatorial, Congressional, Gubernatorial, and Lieutenant Gubernatorial Races including Primaries [Attachments 3, 4, and 5]. The amount spent by each candidate at each station for

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