FOIA Advisor

Court opinion issued June 24, 2016

Court Opinions (2015-16)Allan BlutsteinComment

Elec. Privacy Info. Ctr. v. U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (D.D.C.) -- granting in part and denying in part government's summary judgment motion in case involving the Hemisphere Project, a mass telephone surveillance program.  The court found that the DEA: (1) conducted a reasonable search for documents addressing the privacy impact of the program; (2) properly withheld a draft legal memorandum under the deliberative process privilege, rejecting plaintiff's "meritless argument" that the memo represented the agency's final policy; (3) properly withheld a preliminary assessment of the program under the attorney work-product privilege; (4) failed to submit sufficient evidence to establish that Exemption 7(D) protects that identities of private companies that assist in the operation of the program; and (5) failed to show that Exemption (7)(E) protects (a) the names of private companies that assist with the program's operation, (b) documents that reveal how the DEA secures cooperation of entities instrumental to program's operation, or (c) the names of other law enforcement agencies with access to the program data.

Summaries of all opinions issued since April 2015 available here.