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FOIA News: Memo sheds light on origin of (c)(2) exclusion

FOIA News (2015-16)Allan BlutsteinComment

In 1986, Congress added three record exclusions under subsection (c) of the FOIA in order to protect especially sensitive law enforcement information.  These exclusions permit law enforcement agencies to treat certain records as outside the statute, i.e., an agency applying an exclusion may respond to the request as if the excluded records do not exist.  The memorandum below, which we located in a special collection of papers at the University of Maryland's law school, indicates that the concerns underlying the adoption of the (c)(2) exclusion -- which is designed to protect confidential informants -- date back to at least 1979.