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
All information on attempts by the U.S., U.K., and other western countries
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
therefore, would harm national security. Similarly, glomarization has
been upheld in
the law enforcement context because simply revealing that an individualhas
investigated for criminal activity is likely to be an invasion of privacy.
UNITED STATES FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT
LEARNED FROM THIRTY YEARS OF EXPERIENCE WITH THE LAW
from which this article was taken.