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The FOI Advocate is a compendium of ideas, edited story excerpts and other materials from a variety of Web sites, as well as original concepts and analysis. When the information comes directly from another source, it will be attributed and a link will be provided whenever possible. The blog relies on the accuracy and integrity of the original sources cited. We will correct errors and inaccuracies when we become aware of them.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Does new Supreme Court decision in FOIA case stop Citizens United in its tracks?

from CREW:
The Supreme Court issued a decision in Fed. Communications Comm’n v. AT&T, holding the protection the Freedom of Information Act provides for “personal privacy” does not include corporations. AT&T was trying to prevent the disclosure of documents it had submitted to the FCC as part of an investigation, arguing their release would invade the corporation’s personal privacy. According to AT&T, because the word “person” in the FOIA includes corporations, the reference to “personal privacy” must also include corporations.

When the Supreme Court agreed to hear this case, many feared the Court would use it as an opportunity to extend its ruling in Citizens United, where it recognized the First Amendment rights of corporations, to broader contexts such as the FOIA. A number of groups, including CREW, filed friend-of-the-court briefs urging the Supreme Court to use common sense and congressional intent to limit the FOIA’s personal privacy protection to individuals.
Read the rest here.

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