FOIA Advisor

FOIA News: DHS Must Rethink Justification For FOIA Withholding: Judge

FOIA News (2015-16)Kevin SchmidtComment

DHS Must Rethink Justification For FOIA Withholding: Judge

By Bryan Koenig, Law360, Aug. 7, 2015

A D.C. federal judge this week knocked down one of the justifications the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has used to withhold the names of defense contractors participating in a cyber threat information-sharing program, even while finding proper most justifications for refusing a Freedom of Information Act request.

U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler on Tuesday found the government's application of an FOIA exemption meant to protect confidential sources unjustified because the participating contractors weren't sources but rather recipients of government information. Her ruling gave the DHS the chance to file a revised exclusion justification, even as it found that other exemptions the department relied on — including for withholding the contractor names — were justified.

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