NOAA Fisheries wants to create a nationwide law enforcement database
NOAA Fisheries wants to create a new national database to collect private and public information – including vehicle registrations, phone records, social media accounts, and more – to help its law-enforcement division conduct investigations.
The agency issued a notice in late June seeking contractors capable of building the new system. Companies currently have until 12 July to submit capability statements to NOAA Fisheries as they prepare an official solicitation.
The database would be a centralized, searchable repository of information from public and proprietary sources, including vehicle and watercraft registrations; phone records; utility hookup records; business data; court documents and criminal records; credit header information from the major credit reporting bureaus; social media accounts; and news articles.
Using advanced analytic capabilities, the system will use these data sources to generate reports on subjects of interest and “discover connections between people, businesses, assets, and locations,” according to the 30 June notice. NOAA's Office of Law Enforcement wants the system to automatically chart business and personal relationships of people and entities entered into the system.
“Analytics should be built in to assess potential associates, relatives, and affiliations of the subject,” NOAA said. “Built-in analytics that dig deeper and link subjects, businesses, and assets is necessary to uncover connections that will assist special agents and enforcement officers in their investigations.”
The database will have automatic alerts that inform law enforcement officers when a subject of interest’s data is updated.
NOAA also wants access to license plate recognition technology, allowing it to determine the location of subjects’ vehicles in real-time.
According to its 2020 report, which was released earlier in 2023, OLE had 65 special agents, 71 enforcement officers, and 75 in enforcement and mission support.
“For FY 2020, the team responded to 326 (requests for information) in support of investigations or other priorities through the use of proprietary databases and intelligence research tools,” the office reported. “In addition, in more than 1,500 instances, the team provided individual component information responsive to ongoing requirements, requests for trade data, edits, or other discrete functions.”
The proposed database would streamline those efforts, ensuring all information is searchable from a centralized database, NOAA said.
NOAA Fisheries requested USD 84.6 million (EUR 77 million) for enforcement in fiscal 2024, a USD 14,000 (EUR 12,743) increase.
Photo courtesy of NOAA Fisheries