source symbol numbers, file numbers, and certain manuals containing detailed discussions regarding techniques used by professional gamblers to evade prosecution. First Kelso Dec. PP 33-36; Sec. Kelso Dec. PP 33-38. In addition, the FBI withheld information relating to the security of the Supreme Court building and the security procedures for Supreme Court Justices. Id. at P 39.
The Court has reviewed the declarations of Special Agent John M. Kelso, Jr. and the Vaughn indices prepared by him. Finding that Special Agent Kelso adequately explained the processes by which he reviewed documents for responsiveness and determined which material should be withheld under Exemption (b)(2), and satisfied with the information about the withheld material provided in the aforementioned Vaughn indices, the Court finds that the defendant properly asserted Exemption (b)(2).
C. The Defendant Properly Asserted Exemption (b)(3).
Exemption (b)(3) allows for the withholding of information specifically exempted from disclosure by statute, provided the statute (a) requires matters to be withheld from the public in such a manner as to leave no discretion on the issue, or (b) establishes particular criteria for withholding or refers to particular types of matters to be withheld. 5 U.S.C.A. § 552(b)(3).
The defendant withheld the name of an individual subpoenaed to appear before the Grand Jury, along with the time, place and the particular case. First Kelso Dec. PP 38-39. The defendant argues that releasing this information would violate the secrecy of the Grand Jury proceedings and reveal the scope and directions of the proceedings. Id. at P 38.
The Court agrees. Rule 6(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure prohibits the disclosure of matters which occur before Grand Juries, except under narrow circumstances inapplicable here. F. R. Crim. P. 6(e). Accordingly, the Court finds that the defendant properly exempted the information relating to a Grand Jury proceeding from disclosure pursuant to the FOIA.
D. The Defendant Properly Asserted Exemption (b)(6).
Under FOIA Exemption (b)(6), material may be withheld which "would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy." 5 U.S.C.A. § 552(b)(6). The Court finds that Exemption (b)(6) was correctly asserted to protect the names and identifying information with regard to individuals and that summary judgment in favor of the defendant on this claim is appropriate.
Here, the defendant invoked Exemption (b)(6) to withhold information, including: (1) the names and initials of Special Agents and support employees; (2) the names and addresses of individuals who wrote to J. Edgar Hoover, to Justices of the Supreme Court, or to members of Congress expressing their views on some of the Supreme Court's decisions or on particular Justices; the names and identifying data of individuals mentioned during the course of routine day-to-day matters with the FBI; (4) the names and titles of Supreme Court employees and applicants; (5) the names of non-federal law enforcement officers; (6) the names of non-FBI federal government employees; (7) and the names and identifying data of possible candidates for vacancies on the Supreme Court. First & Sec. Kelso Decs. PP 40-49.
To warrant protection under Exemption (b)(6), information must, as a threshold matter, be contained within "personnel and medical files and similar files." 5 U.S.C.A. § 552(b)(6). As the Supreme Court noted in Department of State v. Washington Post Co., 456 U.S. 595, 72 L. Ed. 2d 358, 102 S. Ct. 1957 (1982), the protection of an individual's privacy interests "surely was not intended to turn upon the label of the file which contains the damaging information." Id. at 601 (citing H.R. Rep. No. 1497, 89th Cong., 2d Sess. 11 (1966)). It held, rather, that all information which "applies to a particular individual" meets the threshold requirement for Exemption (b)(6) protection. Id. at 602. The defendant asserts Exemption (b)(6) to protect the names and identifying data of specific individuals, and, thus, has met the threshold requirement.
The defendant also must establish that the disclosure of the records at issue "would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy," which requires a balancing of the public's right to disclosure against the individual's right to privacy. See Department of the Air Force v. Rose, 425 U.S. 352, 372, 48 L. Ed. 2d 11, 96 S. Ct. 1592 (1976). Because the release of the names and identifying features of individuals withheld would serve no articulable public interest, the Court finds that the defendant's assertion of Exemption (b)(6) in order to protect the privacy interests of the individuals at issue was correct.
The Supreme Court has sharply limited the concept of "public interest" under the FOIA to the core purpose for which it was enacted: to "shed  light on an agency's performance of its statutory duties." Department of Justice v. Reporters Comm. for Freedom of the Press, 489 U.S. 749, 773, 103 L. Ed. 2d 774, 109 S. Ct. 1468 (1989).
Information that does not directly reveal the operation or activities of the federal government "falls outside the ambit of the public interest that the FOIA was enacted to serve." Id. at 775; see Andrews v. Department of Justice, 769 F. Supp. 314, 317 (E.D. Mo. 1991) ("The nature of the public interest inquiry under the FOIA . . . turns on the relationship of the information to the basic purpose of the FOIA, which is 'to open agency action to the light of public scrutiny.'") (quoting Reporters Comm., 489 U.S. at 772) (quoting Rose, 425 U.S. at 372)).
The information withheld in this case under Exemption (b)(6) consists entirely of names and identifying data of individuals. See First & Sec. Kelso Decs. PP 40-49. There is no reason to believe that the public will obtain a better understanding of the workings of various agencies by learning the identities of FBI Special Agents and support personnel, private citizens who wrote to government officials, non-federal law enforcement officers, non-FBI federal employees or candidates for vacancies on the U.S. Supreme Court. Accordingly, in light of the countervailing privacy interests of third parties about whom personal information is contained in the requested records, the Court finds that the defendant properly asserted Exemption (b)(6). The Court therefore shall grant the defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment with regard to their assertion of Exemption (b)(6) to withhold requested information.
E. The Defendant Properly Asserted Exemption (b)(7).
The defendant also withholds certain information from release to the plaintiff under three subsections of Exemption (b)(7) of the FOIA. Exemption (b)(7) protects "investigatory records compiled for law enforcement purposes," but is limited to those records the production of which would cause one of a variety of enumerated harms. 5 U.S.C.A. § 552(b)(7).
1. Exemption (b)(7)(C).
Exemption (b)(7)(C) provides protection from disclosure to investigatory material when such disclosure "could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy." 5 U.S.C.A. § 552(b)(7)(C) (1996). "It is generally recognized that the mention of an individual's name in a law enforcement file will engender comment and speculation and carries a stigmatizing connotation." Branch v. FBI, 658 F. Supp. 204, 209 (D.D.C. 1987); see also Lesar v. Department of Justice, 204 U.S. App. D.C. 200, 636 F.2d 472, 488 (D.C. Cir. 1980). As such, the Court is required to balance the personal privacy interests of the named individuals with the interest of the public in the disclosure of such information. Reporters Comm., 489 U.S. at 762; Stern v. FBI, 237 U.S. App. D.C. 302, 737 F.2d 84, 91 (D.C. Cir. 1984).
In this case, the defendant asserts that information in investigatory material has been withheld from the plaintiff under Exemption (b)(7)(C) because it consists of: (1) the names and initials of Special Agents and support personnel of the FBI; (2) the names and identifying data of third parties of investigative interest; (3) the names and identifying data of non-FBI federal government employees; (4) the names of employees of the Supreme Court who provided information in connection with their employment; (5) the names and identifying data of third parties mentioned during the course of interviews or contacts with third parties and toward whom no investigative effort was directed; (6) the name and title of an individual who, by reason of his employment, was in a position to furnish information concerning the investigation of the alleged attempt to sell advance opinions of the U.S. Supreme Court; (7) the names and identifying data of third parties interviewed about then-Governor Earl Warren and some of his associates; and (8) the names and identifying data of an individual who corresponded with the FBI regarding Justice Warren. The nature of the withholdings under Exemption (b)(7)(C) and the privacy interests at stake are explained in detail in the April 29 and June 14, 1996 declarations of Special Agent John D. Kelso, Jr. First Kelso Dec. PP 51-69; Second Kelso Dec. PP 51 to 67.
Exemption (b)(7)(C) is designed to protect not only against the danger of physical harm but also against those invasions of personal privacy likely to be associated with the stigma frequently attached to law enforcement proceedings and investigations. Given the strong privacy interest inherent in law enforcement records, and the absence of a "significant and compelling" public interest in disclosing the names of individuals associated with, or the focus of, FBI investigations referenced in the withheld material, the Court finds that the defendant properly asserted Exemption (b)(7)(C). See SafeCard Servs., Inc. v. SEC, 288 U.S. App. D.C. 324, 926 F.2d 1197, 1206 (D.C. Cir. 1991) ("We now hold categorically that, unless access to the names and addresses of private individuals appearing in files within the ambit of Exemption 7(C) is necessary in order to confirm or refute compelling evidence that the agency is engaged in illegal activity, such information is exempt from disclosure.") Satisfied with the declarations of Special Agent Kelso and the Vaughn indices as they relate to information withheld pursuant to Exemption (b)(7)(C), the Court shall grant the defendant summary judgment with respect to its assertion of that exemption to the FOIA.
2. Exemption (b)(7)(D).
Exemption (b)(7)(D) is designed to provide protection for investigatory material which "could reasonably be expected to disclose the identity of a confidential source, . . . or . . . information furnished by a confidential source." 5 U.S.C.A. § 552 (b)(7)(D). Exemption (b)(7)(D) has long been recognized as affording the most comprehensive protection of all of the FOIA's law enforcement exemptions. See Irons v. FBI, 880 F.2d 1446, 1452 (1st Cir. 1989) (en banc). Not all information received from sources in the course of criminal investigations, however, is entitled to a presumption of confidentiality. United States Department of Justice v. Landano, 508 U.S. 165, 124 L. Ed. 2d 84, 113 S. Ct. 2014 (1993). In Landano, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that source confidentiality must be determined on a case-by-case basis, recognizing that it may be true that most individual sources will expect confidentiality. See id. at 176. Thus, under Landano, the government must show either that a source received express assurances of confidentiality or that circumstances existed from which an inference of confidentiality can be assumed.
Applying the analysis of Landano to the information withheld in this case pursuant to Exemption (b)(7)(D), the Court finds that the defendant adequately showed that each individual whose name or identifying data was withheld received an express or implied assurance of confidentiality.
First Kelso Dec. PP 73-82; Sec. Kelso Dec. PP 71-88. Accordingly, the Court shall grant the defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment with regard to their withholding of information relating to the identity of sources given a promise of confidentiality.
3. Exemption (b)(7)(E).
Exemption (b)(7)(E) provides for the withholding of investigatory records compiled for law enforcement purposes, the disclosure of which would reveal "techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions if such disclosure could reasonably be expected to risk circumvention of the law." 5 U.S.C.A. § 552(b)(7)(E). The defendant has invoked this exemption to withhold copies of the "Criminal Intelligence Digest," a publication prepared to render assistance and guidance to FBI personnel, and information relating to an analysis of safety procedures afforded to the Supreme Court and its Justices. Sec. Kelso Dec. PP 89-90.
The defendant also invoked Exemption (b)(2) as a basis for withholding this material, which the Court, supra I.B., found an appropriate action. Nonetheless, for the same reasons the materials may be withheld under Exemption (b)(2), the Court finds that the materials also should be afforded protection from disclosure pursuant to Exemption (b)(7)(E).
Upon consideration of the defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment, which incorporates by reference its earlier Motion for Partial Summary Judgment, the plaintiff's Opposition thereto, the defendant's Reply thereto, the declarations of Special Agents Davidson and Kelso and accompanying Vaughn indices, and for all of the foregoing reasons, the Court finds that the defendant is entitled to judgment in its favor as a matter of law.
As such, the Court shall issue an Order of even date herewith consistent with the foregoing Memorandum Opinion.
CHARLES R. RICHEY
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
For the reasons articulated in the Court's Memorandum Opinion of even date herewith, it is, by the Court, this 23rd day of September, 1996,
ORDERED that the defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment shall be, and hereby is, GRANTED; and, it is
FURTHER ORDERED that any and all other outstanding motions shall be, and hereby are, rendered and declared Moot; and, it is
FURTHER ORDERED that the above-captioned case shall be, and hereby is, DISMISSED from the dockets of this Court.
CHARLES R. RICHEY
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE