ICE has contracted with Palantir Technologies, Inc. to build and/or maintain information systems that contain vast amounts of information on individuals, such as the FALCON systems and the Investigative Case Management (ICM) system. In its 2018 Budget in Brief, DHS listed $20.3 million in funding for ICM for FY 2018. In 2014, ICE contracted with Palantir to build and maintain the ICM system for over $41 million.
FALCON is a proprietary software product which allows users to search, analyze and visualize complex data sets and serves as ICE’s primary data storage and analysis system. There are several modules in the FALCON system, including FALCON Data Analysis and Research for Trade Transparency System (DARTTS), FALCON Search and Analysis System (SA), and FALCON- Roadrunner System. FALCON-DARTTS looks at anomalies in data related to trade-based crimes, including money laundering, smuggling, and other import-export crimes. FALCON-SA is used “to search, analyze, and visualize volumes of existing information.” And FALCON-Roadrunner is a module within the existing FALCON environment that conducts trend analysis and generates investigative leads related to illegal trafficking of weapons and technology.
Investigative Case Management (ICM) System
The Investigative Case Management (ICM) system is the modernization of ICE’s legacy TECS system. A primary motivation for the modernization project was to enable ICE to more easily link investigative records within and between departments. The ICM system includes the ICM application, which provides case management capabilities, as well as three additional capabilities: “1) an Interface Hub to control the movement of information between ICM and external information repositories; 2) the HSI Data Warehouse to store case information for the purpose of facilitating information sharing and reporting; and 3) the TLS application (and its interface with Pen-Link), which will store case-related telecommunications information obtained via subpoena or other means.”
EPIC is concerned about the federal government’s use of information systems that include vast amounts of information on individuals. ICE uses products developed and maintained by Palantir to import, aggregate, search, analyze and visualize data from a variety of sources to carry out homeland security investigations; yet, the public knows little about the effectiveness of the systems, extent of training required for use of the systems, constraints on dissemination of data, and mechanisms in place for oversight and accountability. Further, the public has a right to know the amount of information collected in these systems, the capabilities the agency has to analyze these systems, and the extent of access to this information is allowed to other federal agencies, as well as local and state agencies. EPIC has a significant interest in obtaining ICE documents that describe the training material, policies and procedures, agreements, and other documents to have a better understanding of government operations at the border and in the interior.