Do not travel to Uruguay due to COVID-19. Exercise increased caution due to crime.
Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for Uruguay, indicating a very high level of COVID-19 in the country. Your risk of contracting COVID-19 and developing severe symptoms may be lower if you are fully vaccinated with an FDA authorized vaccine. Before planning any international travel, please review the CDC’s specific recommendations for vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers. Visit the Embassy’s COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Uruguay.
Violent crimes, such as homicides, armed robberies, car jackings, and thefts occur throughout the country and in urban areas frequented by U.S. government personnel, day and night. Criminals commonly travel in pairs on motorcycles to approach unsuspecting victims with a weapon and demand personal belongings. Armed criminals also target grocery stores, restaurants, financial centers, and small businesses, in which innocent bystanders are often victimized.
Please read the country information page.
If you decide to travel to Uruguay:
- See the U.S. Embassy’s web page regarding COVID-19.
- Visit the CDC’s webpage on Travel and COVID-19.
- Be aware of your surroundings especially when traveling to tourist locations or poorly lit areas.
- Call 911 if you encounter a crime in progress. Do not physically resist any robbery attempt or try to stop a robbery in progress.
- Be vigilant when visiting banks or using ATMs during non-daylight hours or in remote locations; criminals often target ATMs and businesses in the early morning hours.
- Do not leave valuable objects in parked vehicles or in plain sight when driving.
- Do not display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive jewelry or watches.
- Review your personal and residential security plans.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
- Review the Country Security Report for Uruguay.
- U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations; review the Traveler’s Checklist.
Last Update: Reissued with updates to COVID-19 information.
- Justice Department Files Second Civil Contempt Claim Against CenturyLink
September 2, 2021CenturyLink Inc., now known as Lumen Technologies Inc., has agreed to pay $275,000 to resolve a civil contempt claim by the Department of Justice arising from CenturyLink’s violations of the Amended Final Judgment that was designed to preserve competition following CenturyLink’s 2018 acquisition of Level 3 Communications Inc.
- Secretary Blinken’s Call with NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg
August 24, 2021
- Deputy Secretary Biegun’s Travel to the Republic of Korea
December 6, 2020
- The Importance of Diversity and Inclusion in Diplomacy: A Conversation with Security Engineering Officer Rahim Theriot
September 26, 2020Bureau of Diplomatic [Read More…]
- Statement of the Acting Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen on the Death of Former Attorney General Richard (Dick) Thornburgh
January 2, 2021Acting Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen released the following statement: It is with profound sadness that I learned of the passing of former Attorney General and Pennsylvania Governor Richard (Dick) L. Thornburgh. Gov. Thornburgh’s tenure at the Department of Justice started in 1969 in the Western District of Pennsylvania, where he served as the U.S. Attorney.
- Tax Preparer Sentenced in COVID-19 Fraud Scheme
November 17, 2021A South Florida tax preparer was sentenced today to two years in prison for perpetrating a scheme to fraudulently obtain over 100 COVID-19 relief loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
- Secretary Antony J. Blinken’s Call with Iraqi Prime Minister al-Kadhimi
November 7, 2021
- Vanuatu Travel Advisory
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- Secretary Antony J. Blinken at the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation
March 9, 2021Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
- Departments of Justice and State Launch International Program to Support Women in Leadership Roles in Counterterrorism
March 18, 2022The Department of Justice’s International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP) and the U.S. Department of State’s Counterterrorism Bureau (DOS/CT) recently launched a new program to support women in leadership roles in counterterrorism.
- Haiti Travel Advisory
September 26, 2020Do not travel to Haiti [Read More…]
- On the UN Human Rights Council’s Embrace of Authoritarian Regimes
October 13, 2020Michael R. Pompeo, [Read More…]
- Remarks of Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division John C. Demers on the Iran Forfeiture Actions
October 29, 2020Good morning. Today, I am joined by Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Michael Sherwin and the State Department’s Special Representative for Iran and Venezuela Elliott Abrams to announce two civil seizure court actions that have disrupted malign, and in one instance, potentially deadly, activities undertaken by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)-Quds Force, a Foreign Terrorist Organization. Special Representative Abrams will also be announcing sanctions that the State Department and the Department of the Treasury have imposed on the responsible individuals and entities.
- Public Designation of Five Bulgarian Public Officials Due to Involvement in Significant Corruption
June 2, 2021Ned Price, Department [Read More…]
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- Defined Contribution Plans: Federal Guidance Could Help Mitigate Cybersecurity Risks in 401(k) and Other Retirement Plans
March 15, 2021What GAO Found In their role administering private sector employer-sponsored defined contribution (DC) retirement plans, such as 401(k) plans, plan sponsors and their service providers—record keepers, third party administrators, custodians, and payroll providers—share a variety of personally identifiable information (PII) and plan asset data among them to assist with carrying out their respective functions (see figure). The PII exchanged for DC plans typically include participant name, Social Security number, date of birth, address, username/password; plan asset data typically includes numbers for both retirement and bank accounts. The sharing and storing of this information can lead to significant cybersecurity risks for plan sponsors and their service providers, as well as plan participants. Data Sharing Among Plan Sponsors and Service Providers in Defined Contribution Plans Federal requirements and industry guidance exist that could mitigate cybersecurity risks in DC plans, such as requirements that pertain to entities that directly engage in financial activities involving DC plans. However, not all entities involved in DC plans are considered to have such direct engagement, and other cybersecurity mitigation guidance is voluntary. Federal law nevertheless requires plan fiduciaries to act prudently when administering plans. However, the Department of Labor (DOL) has not clarified fiduciary responsibility for mitigating cybersecurity risks, even though 21 of 22 stakeholders GAO interviewed expressed the view that cybersecurity is a fiduciary duty. Further, DOL has not established minimum expectations for protecting PII and plan assets. DOL officials told GAO that the agency intends to issue guidance addressing cybersecurity-related issues, but they were unsure when it would be issued. Until DOL clarifies responsibilities for fiduciaries and provides minimum cybersecurity expectations, participants’ data and assets will remain at risk. Why GAO Did This Study Cyber attacks against information systems (IT) are perpetuated by individuals or groups with malicious intentions, from stealing identities to appropriating money from accounts. DC plans, which allow individuals to accumulate tax-advantaged retirement savings, increasingly rely on the internet and IT systems for their administration. Accordingly, the need to secure these systems has become paramount. Ineffective data security controls can result in significant risks to plan data and assets. In 2018, DC plans enrolled 106 million participants and held nearly $6.3 trillion in assets, according to DOL. This report examines (1) the data that sponsors and providers exchange during the administration of DC plans and their associated cybersecurity risks, and (2) efforts to assist sponsors and providers to mitigate cybersecurity risks during the administration of DC plans. GAO interviewed key entities involved with DC plans, such as sponsors and record keepers, DOL officials and industry stakeholders; and reviewed relevant federal laws, regulations, and guidance.
- Public-Safety Broadband Network: Congressional Action Required to Ensure Network Continuity
February 22, 2022What GAO Found The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) is responsible for establishing a nationwide public-safety broadband network. GAO identified four key statutory requirements and contract responsibilities currently performed by FirstNet that the Congress should address before FirstNet would sunset in 2027. For example, FirstNet oversees the network contract awarded to AT&T in 2017 (see figure). The current statute does not identify another federal entity to assume oversight when FirstNet sunsets. Without any legislative action, network operations and improvements would be at risk and could result in the loss of service for public-safety users. Another example is FirstNet’s responsibility to collect fees and to reinvest these funds to enhance the network. FirstNet expects to collect and reinvest $18 billion in fees from AT&T over the 25-year duration of the contract with AT&T. However, the statute does not identify an organization to assume responsibility for fee collection and reinvestment if FirstNet’s authority is terminated. Congressional action on key statutory requirements and contract responsibilities is essential for network continuity and enhancement. Timeline for Deploying the Nationwide Public-Safety Broadband Network and FirstNet’s Key Ongoing Statutory Requirements GAO’s 2020 report on FirstNet’s deployment of the network reinforces the importance of addressing contract oversight. In that report, GAO determined that FirstNet used various mechanisms to oversee AT&T, many of which aligned with key contract-oversight practices. However, the report also pointed out that FirstNet lacked: (1) a reliable master schedule to review, (2) communication with relevant stakeholders regarding contract oversight, and (3) meaningful information on end users’ satisfaction to gauge performance quality. GAO made four recommendations to remedy these weaknesses; FirstNet concurred with the recommendations and to date has implemented two of them. Implementing the remaining two on a reliable schedule and communication with stakeholders would further strengthen oversight. Two options to address FirstNet’s termination of authority in 2027 include reauthorizing FirstNet or transferring FirstNet’s responsibilities to one or more other agencies. If the Congress were to decide to reauthorize, then it would also have options in where to put FirstNet: (1) keep it within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), (2) place it within another federal agency, or (3) establish it as a separate federal organizational entity. Each of the overall options has different operational implications and potential costs. For example, some public-safety stakeholders told GAO that reauthorizing FirstNet would prevent network disruption; FirstNet officials agreed and further added that this option would not introduce new costs. Further, such a reauthorization would enable retention of existing network expertise and experience in engaging with the public-safety community. By contrast, the option to transfer responsibilities to one or more other agencies may lead to additional contract costs and introduce new risks. For example, stakeholders noted that transitioning oversight to another agency or agencies could be problematic for contract oversight, requiring more coordination and potentially leading to inefficiencies. Regarding FirstNet’s organizational placement if reauthorized by Congress, advantages and disadvantages of each option would vary: Keeping FirstNet within the Department of Commerce would result in no new costs for the federal government and align with the NTIA’s mission of supporting the broadband network and managing federal spectrum’s use. However, FirstNet officials believe that the current placement limits their ability to independently oversee and manage the network. Some stakeholders and FirstNet officials did not identify any advantages in placing FirstNet in another federal agency. Disadvantages of doing so include incurring additional transition costs, and potentially having to rebuild trust with public-safety entities. According to FirstNet officials, reauthorizing FirstNet as an entity separate from another executive branch agency would enable it to exercise its authorities without undue constraints from a federal agency. However, disadvantages include the need to establish mission-support services (e.g., financial and legal support) and the loss of available oversight mechanisms, such as from the Department of Commerce’s Inspector General. Why GAO Did This Study Communication systems are essential for first responders in emergencies. In 2012, FirstNet was established by statute as an independent authority within the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration. FirstNet was charged with establishing a nationwide broadband network for use by public-safety entities. In March 2017, FirstNet awarded a $6.5 billion contract to AT&T to deploy the network, which is currently expected to reach its final operating capability in March 2023. The statute creating FirstNet included provisions for its authority to terminate in 2027 and for GAO to report on what actions the Congress should consider regarding this sunset. This report examines: (1) FirstNet’s statutory requirements and contract responsibilities that Congress should consider before FirstNet’s authority sunsets in 2027 and (2) options to oversee and manage the network when FirstNet’s authority sunsets and the associated operational implications and potential costs. GAO reviewed relevant statutes and documents, including FirstNet’s contract with AT&T, and reviewed GAO’s prior relevant reports. GAO also interviewed FirstNet and other government officials and a nongeneralizable selection of public-safety stakeholders.
- Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke Delivers Keynote on AI and Civil Rights for the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s Virtual Listening Session
December 14, 2021Thank you, Dr. Hall.
- Maryland Tax Preparer Indicted for Preparing False Returns
November 23, 2020A federal grand jury in Greenbelt, Maryland, returned an indictment today charging an Upper Marlboro tax return preparer with conspiracy to defraud the United States and aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur.
- Aviation Safety: Actions Needed to Evaluate Changes to FAA’s Enforcement Policy on Safety Standards
August 18, 2020The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) directed individual offices to implement the Compliance Program, and FAA has increasingly used compliance actions rather than enforcement actions to address violations of safety standards since starting the Compliance Program. FAA revised agency-wide guidance in September 2015 to emphasize using compliance actions, such as counseling or changes to policies. Compliance actions are to be used when a regulated entity is willing and able to comply and enforcement action is not required or warranted, e.g., for repeated violations, according to FAA guidance. FAA then directed its offices—for example, Flight Standards Service and Drug Abatement Division—to implement the Compliance Program as appropriate, given their different responsibilities and existing processes. Under the Compliance Program, data show that selected FAA offices have made increasing use of compliance actions. Total Number of Federal Aviation Administration Enforcement Actions and Number of Compliance Actions Closed for Selected Program Offices, Fiscal Years 2012-2019 No specific FAA office or entity oversees the Compliance Program. FAA tasked a working group to lead some initial implementation efforts. However, the group no longer regularly discusses the Compliance Program, and no office or entity was then assigned oversight authority. As a result, FAA is not positioned to identify and share best practices or other valuable information across offices. FAA established goals for the Compliance Program—to promote the highest level of safety and compliance with standards and to foster an open, transparent exchange of data. FAA, however, has not taken steps to evaluate if or determine how the program accomplishes these goals. Key considerations for agency enforcement decisions state that an agency should establish an evaluation plan to determine if its enforcement policy achieves desired goals. Three of eight FAA offices have started to evaluate the effects of the Compliance Program, but two offices have not yet started. Three other offices do not plan to do so—in one case, because FAA has not told the office to. FAA officials generally believe the Compliance Program is achieving its safety goals based on examples of its use. However, without an evaluation, FAA will not know if the Compliance Program is improving safety or having other effects—intended or unintended. FAA supports the safety of the U.S. aviation system by ensuring air carriers, pilots, and other regulated entities comply with safety standards. In 2015, FAA announced a new enforcement policy with a more collaborative and problem-solving approach called the Compliance Program. Under the program, FAA emphasizes using compliance actions, for example, counseling or training, to address many violations more efficiently, according to FAA. Enforcement actions such as civil penalties are reserved for more serious violations, such as when a violation is reckless or intentional. The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 included a provision that GAO review FAA’s Compliance Program. This report examines (1) how FAA implemented and used the Compliance Program and (2) how FAA evaluates the effectiveness of the program. GAO analyzed FAA data on enforcement actions agency-wide and on compliance actions for three selected offices for fiscal years 2012 to 2019 (4 years before and after program start).GAO also reviewed FAA guidance and interviewed FAA officials, including those from the eight offices that oversee compliance with safety standards. GAO is making three recommendations including that FAA assign authority to oversee the Compliance Program and evaluate the effectiveness of the program in meeting goals. FAA concurred with the recommendations. For more information, contact Heather Krause at (202) 512-2834 or firstname.lastname@example.org.