Glomer response


A government agency practice in the USA that has lead to excessive government secrecy in that country 
The so-called "Glomar" response -- that is, when an agency refuses to even confirm 
or deny the existence or nonexistence of records. The courts have allowed agencies to provide a Glomar response when the agency demonstrates that disclosing the fact of a record's existence or nonexistence itself reveals information that a FOIA exemption seeks to protect. 
For example, the CIA invoked the Glomar response in answer to an FOIA request seeking:
All information on attempts by the U.S., U.K., and other western countries to infiltrate 
intelligence agents and potential guerrillas into Albania during the period between the end of World War II and the death of Stalin.

Given the specificity of the request, the Court found that "an answer as to whether the 
files existed would be tantamount to declaring whether the mission occurred," and 
therefore, would harm national security. Similarly, glomarization has been upheld in 
the law enforcement context because simply revealing that an individualhas been 
investigated for criminal activity is likely to be an invasion of privacy.

see
THE UNITED STATES FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 
LESSONS LEARNED FROM THIRTY YEARS OF EXPERIENCE WITH THE LAW
By Lucinda Sikes

from which this article was taken.
 
 

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