Order 11652, 3 C.F.R. 678 (1972). Reclassification was done by authorized personnel coincident with the request, and certain materials were declassified and disclosed. Where classification was still deemed necessary, it was imposed to protect the identity of confidential intelligence sources, including sources in contact with foreign establishments within and without the United States, and sources who have penetrated domestic organizations controlled by foreign powers that are targets of national security investigation. Protection was also afforded material that would reveal cooperation with foreign police agencies. Plaintiff points to instances in the past in which exemption claims made in other litigation in which he was involved proved unfounded in the light of other disclosures. However that may be, that contention is unpersuasive. The Court is satisfied that the exemption claimed here should be sustained. See Weissman v. CIA, 184 U.S.App.D.C. 117, 121-23, 565 F.2d 692, 696-98 (1977).
Plaintiff argues that proper procedures were not followed in that certain documents in the form of notes taken from classified documents in preparation of a Task Force study were not immediately classified and lay dormant, unclassified, until his FOIA request. This atypical slip-up does not undermine the claimed exemption. The working notes receive derivative protection. Plaintiff also notes the originally classified documents now released were not so stamped but it is clear that they were originally so stamped and that the stamp was removed coincident with removal from classification. See Exec. Order No. 11652 § 4(A), 6(B), 3 C.F.R. 678, 682, 686 (1972).
(4) Informant symbol numbers. The exemption under (b)(2) claimed for deletion of these symbol numbers from documents otherwise supplied is sustained. There is no legitimate public interest in releasing these symbols and such release would aid identification of informers and significantly harm governmental interests. See Department of the Air Force v. Rose, 425 U.S. 352, 364, 96 S. Ct. 1592, 48 L. Ed. 2d 11 (1976).
(5) Privacy materials. Exemption under b(7)(C) is claimed to protect certain aspects of the privacy of Dr. King's family and the identity of persons connected with the FBI investigation where privacy interests are involved. Primarily these include the names of persons supplying information and FBI personnel below the rank of section chief. There is no reason to question the bona fides of these deletions. Plaintiff, who has been a student of the King and Kennedy assassinations, claims that because he believes he can identify many of the names deleted, these names are in the public domain. This is fallacious. The fact that an expert can piece together identifying data does not make the identifications in question automatically part of the public domain.
As to the non-name information deleted, there is no suggestion that its release would not infringe on the privacy of the persons involved. It is the Court's view that no amount of further discovery will determine whether or not or to what extent any of these individuals will be injured by the release of privacy data. To initiate such an inquiry would in the nature of things destroy the privilege, for the inquiry cannot be made without revealing the withheld information. It is difficult, if not impossible, to anticipate all respects in which disclosure might damage reputations or lead to personal embarrassment and discomfort.
The public interest in disclosure must, of course, be weighed. The Court, however, accepts the view that because of the contemporary character of the data, protection of FBI personnel and their informants is warranted. Those cooperating with law enforcement should not now pay the price of full disclosure of personal detail.
The Court has not conducted any In camera review of the documents except as previously indicated. It has examined the excerpted documents as turned over to plaintiff, from which it appears that the exemptions claimed apply. The Court in this instance is impressed with the detailed nature of the affidavits submitted by both sides, the competence of Government counsel, and the apparent care with which the matter has been dealt with administratively. Thus reliance is placed on the Government's representations.
Summary judgment is granted defendants in accordance with the foregoing rulings. Plaintiff's cross-motion is denied. The parties shall present an appropriate, detailed order within ten days.