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FOIA Exemptions

 

The Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. § 552)

• Exemption 1 (5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(1)) – protects from disclosure information which is specifically authorized under criteria established by Executive Order to be kept classified in the interest of national defense or foreign policy.

• Exemption 2 (5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(2)) – protects from disclosure records related solely to internal personnel rules and practices of an agency.

• Exemption 3 (5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(3)) – protects information specifically exempted from disclosure by other federal statutes.

• Exemption 4 (5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(4)) – protects from disclosure trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person which is privileged or confidential.

• Exemption 5 (5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(5)) – protects from disclosure inter-agency or intra-agency memoranda or letters consisting of predecisional advice, opinion or recommendations.

• Exemption 6 (5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(6)) – exempts from disclosure records or information which if disclosed would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

• Exemption 7 (5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(7)) – protects from disclosure records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes to the extent that the production of such records or information:

(A) could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings;

(B) would deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication;

(C) could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;

(D) could reasonably be expected to disclose the identity of a confidential source;

(E) would disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions, or would disclose guidelines for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions if such disclosure could reasonably be expected to risk circumvention of the law; and/or

(F) could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of any individual.

 

The Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. § 552a)

• Criminal Law Enforcement Exemption (5 U.S.C. § 552(j)(2)) – records may be withheld from disclosure provided they are maintained by an agency or component thereof which performs as its principal function any activity pertaining to the enforcement of criminal laws and which consists of the following:

(A) information compiled for the purpose of identifying individual criminal offenders and alleged offenders;

(B) information compiled for the purpose of a criminal investigation; or

(C) reports identifiable to an individual compiled at any stage of the process of enforcement of the criminal laws.

• Investigatory Material Exemption (5 U.S.C. § 552(k)(2)) – information compiled for law enforcement purposes, other than for the purpose of a criminal investigation, including material which, if released, would reveal the identity of a source who furnished information to the government under an express or implied promise of confidentiality.

 

Amendment Rights

In accordance with § 552a(d)(2) of the Privacy Act, an individual has the right to request amendment of a record maintained in an agency system of records pertaining to him or her which the individual believes is not accurate, relevant, timely, or complete.