motion for summary judgment. It was never considered or responded to by the government, and it is not part of this lawsuit.
By the same token, plaintiff's late-filed attempt to include in this action his request for files of the Drug Enforcement Administration, including its electronic surveillance records, cannot succeed. It is undisputed that the Drug Enforcement Administration has never received a FOIA request from the plaintiff. Plaintiff has failed to exhaust administrative remedies as to the DEA. See Oglesby v. United States Department of the Army, 287 U.S. App. D.C. 126, 920 F.2d 57, 61-62 (D.C. Cir. 1990).
The substance of the remaining dispute between the government and plaintiff concerns a series of exemptions whose use by criminal law enforcement agencies is well established and has been approved in many district court and court of appeals decisions.
Exemption 2 of the FOIA exempts disclosure of material "related solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of an agency." 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(2). In this case, the information withheld under that exemption was permanent "source symbol numbers" of confidential sources of the FBI who report on a regular basis and the file numbers associated with those confidential sources. Release of the numbers would give some indication of the geographic area where a source was developed or operated, the date of the source's recruitment, and how many informants have been recruited for a particular case. According to the affidavit of Special Agent Moran, disclosure of the source symbols and file numbers would facilitate improper access to sensitive information and impede the effectiveness of law enforcement investigations. It was clearly proper for the FBI to invoke Exemption 2 for the stated purpose. Crooker v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, 216 U.S. App. D.C. 232, 670 F.2d 1051, 1074 (D.C. Cir. 1981) (en banc); Lesar v. United States Department of Justice, 204 U.S. App. D.C. 200, 636 F.2d 472, 485 (D.C. Cir. 1980).
Exemption 7 of the FOIA covers "records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes," but "only to the extent" that production would cause the types of harm enumerated in subsections (A) through (F). Here, the FBI has invoked four of those subsections, all of them properly.
. Exemption 7(C) relates to "unwarranted invasion of personal privacy." Here the FBI invoked it to protect names and/or identifying data relating to FBI and DEA special agents and support personnel, a non-federal law enforcement person, third parties who are of investigative interest to the FBI, third parties merely mentioned in FBI files, and third parties who provided information to the FBI. The use of Exemption 7(C) is amply substantiated by affidavit and by the case law. U.S. Dept. of Justice v. Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, 489 U.S. 749, 762, 103 L. Ed. 2d 774, 109 S. Ct. 1468 (1989); Davis v. United States Department of Justice, 296 U.S. App. D.C. 405, 968 F.2d 1276, 1281 (D.C. Cir. 1992). Here the possibilities, articulated by the FBI, of animosity or grudges toward special agents or prejudice to the effectiveness of individuals in the conduct of other cases to which they are assigned and the potential that individuals could be targeted for inquiries for unauthorized access to information or be subjected to unofficial inquiries not anticipated by their contact with the FBI, among other things, clearly outweigh any possible benefit that could accrue from the public access to information in these government files. Exemption 7(D) relates to the identity of confidential sources and/or Information furnished by such sources. Here the FBI resorted to Exemption 7(D) as a sort of "belt and suspenders" approach to the protection of permanent source symbol numbers, which were also withheld under Exemption 2. The affidavit support proffered by the FBI amply establishes that the sources sought to be protected provided information under the express assurance of confidentiality or under circumstances where such an assurance can be implied, U.S. Dept. of Justice v. Landano, supra, 113 S. Ct. at 2019.