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August 29, 2011


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A sometimes overlooked key phrase in exemption (b)(6) is "a clearly unwarranted invasion" (of personal privacy). Even then, you must balance the public interest of disclosure against a person's privacy.

Since the State Department did issue him a passport, and he is now a known terrorist, the argument could be made that disclosure would give insight to State Dept. Operations (assuming the file contains more than a mere application for a passport) thereby overriding the invasion of privacy (and I'm not sure this falls under "clearly unwarranted" to begin with). Specifically, if it contained information created by State Dept employees regarding reviews conducted of the application and/or information regarding revokation of the passport and/or the passport fraud information. If so they maybe should have though to exempt those portions under (b)(5) and/or (b)(7)(A) assuming it is still being used for law enforcement proceedings.

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