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Posted Date: October 19, 2011
Last Updated: November 28, 2011

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Exemption Seven


There are nine exemptions to the Freedom of Information Act; each allows agencies to withhold specific types of information. Exemption 7 protects from disclosure “records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes” if disclosure would cause one or more of the harms enumerated in the six sub-sections of this exemption. 5 U.S.C. § 552 (b)(7)  Information may be withheld if the disclosure of such 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, including a State, local or foreign agency or authority or any private institution which furnished information on a confidential basis, and, in the case of a record or information compiled by a criminal law enforcement authority in the course of a criminal investigation, or by an agency conducting lawful national security intelligence investigation, information furnished by a confidential source,

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

(F) could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of any individual.
5 U.S.C.§ § 552 (b)(7)(A)-(F).