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Trump Administration Shrouds CBP in Secrecy by Changing Its Designation to ‘Security Agency’

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The Trump administration has changed CBP’s designation to make it a “security agency,” a move that shrouds the agency in secrecy.

An internal memo signed by CBP’s Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan revealed the change in designation, which became effective Jan. 31, The Nation reports.

With added layers of secrecy, CBP has the same designation as agencies like the FBI and Secret Service.

The change allows CBP to exempt key records from being disclosed to the public.

“I am pleased to announce CBP has been designated as a Security Agency under Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) official Data Release Policy, effective immediately,” the memo states. “Previously, only frontline law enforcement, investigative, or intelligence positions held this designation. This policy change now protects all CBP employee names from subsequent responses to Freedom of Information Act requests or other public disclosures for CGP employee data.”

Government transparency advocates warned that the change would make the agency less transparent at a time when it has come under intense public scrutiny.

“It puts their employees in the same category as FBI agents,” Irvin McCullough, national security analyst with the Government Accountability Project said. “The problems we’ve seen out of our immigration agencies over the past few years show that we need more transparency, not less. Why is there such a rush to restrict this information from the public? Given their track record, the burden is on them to explain exactly why they need these restrictions.”


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