be marked at the time of origination with its assigned security classifications. The belated classification of the documents did not preclude invocation of Exemption (b)(1). Rather, the court determined that "to release these materials because of a mere mishap in the time of classification, when the documents are sworn to contain sensitive information, would only be perverse." Lesar, 636 F.2d at 484. Moreover, here an in camera inspection has revealed that the delay in classification was undoubtedly due to oversight and not to an attempt to prevent unprotected materials from being disclosed.
Lieverman's contention that the government must show that the withheld documents were compiled for law enforcement purposes as a prerequisite to invoking Exemption (b)(7) appears to be correct. See FBI v. Abramson, 456 U.S. 615, 72 L. Ed. 2d 376, 102 S. Ct. 2054 (1982) (indicating that a two part inquiry is necessary to determine whether Exemption (b)(7) has been properly invoked -- (1) whether the document was compiled for law enforcement purposes and (2) whether one of the six harms listed in Exemption (b)(7) has been demonstrated); Demetracopoulos v. FBI, 510 F. Supp. 529, 531 (D.D.C. 1981), Malizia v. United States Dept. of Justice, 519 F. Supp. 338, 347-48 (S.D.N.Y. 1981). Invocation of the exemption will be sustained here. The in camera inspection has revealed that the documents were compiled for a legitimate law enforcement purpose. See Lamont v. Dept. of Justice, 475 F. Supp. 761, 773 (S.D.N.Y. 1979) (appropriate test is whether agency gathered information with good faith belief that subject may violate or has violated federal law). Moreover, the government has demonstrated that releasing the withheld documents would result in one of two harms -- either the unwarranted invasion of personal privacy or the disclosure of confidential sources.
The government invoked Exemption (b)(7)(C) to protect the identities of FBI personnel, third parties mentioned in FBI records, third parties who provided information to the FBI during the course of their employment and of any state or local law enforcement officers. In Lesar, supra, the court held that while there is no "blanket exemption for the names of all FBI personnel in all documents," they do have a privacy interest which can be protected by the invocation of Exemption (b)(7)(C) after the court has balanced this privacy interest against the public interest in disclosure of their names. 636 F.2d at 487. The government's representations that disclosure of FBI personnel involved in the Lieverman investigation could hamper the integrity of future FBI investigations outweigh any interest Lieverman may have in obtaining this information. See Malizia, 519 F. Supp. at 348-49 (although the privacy of FBI agents is minimal, the public interest in identifying them is even less). Application of this balancing results in a finding that Exemption (b)(7)(C) has been properly invoked with respect to various third parties and law enforcement officers as well. See Lesar, 636 F.2d at 488, quoting Lesar v. United States Dept. of Justice, 455 F. Supp. 921, 925 (D.D.C. 1978) ("Those cooperating with law enforcement should not now pay the price of full disclosure of personal detail."); Kuehnert v. FBI, 620 F.2d 662, 667 (8th Cir. 1980) (FBI properly withheld the names of third parties asserted to be of "investigative interest" to the FBI under Exemption (b)(7)(C)); LaRouche, 522 F. Supp. at 438 (footnote omitted) ("It repeatedly has been held that the balance in a case such as this one should be struck in favor of protection of individual privacy interests.").
Lieverman has made several objections to the invocation of Exemption (b)(7)(D). He contends that the government has offered no facts supporting its claims of express or implied confidentiality. Special Agent Beyer did aver in his affidavit that confidentiality was either express or implied. In addition, the showing demanded by Lieverman is not required since "such a promise of confidentiality is presumed in the context of a law enforcement investigation, especially one conducted by the FBI." LaRouche, 522 F. Supp. at 439 (footnote omitted). See Malizia, 519 F. Supp. at 350; Lamont, 475 F. Supp. at 779.
Lieverman also contends that there is no recognized exemption for financial institutions as confidential sources. This contention is simply incorrect. It has been determined that "confidential sources are not only paid informants. Any provider of information is considered a source, whether that provider is a natural person, a corporate entity, or another governmental body." LaRouche, 522 F. Supp. at 439 (footnote omitted). See also Lesar, 636 F.2d at 490-91 (interpreting legislative history to extend protection to whatever source of information the law enforcement agency employs during the investigation).
In conclusion, after reviewing the Vaughn index and the withheld documents, with each of Lieverman's objections in mind, this court is satisfied "that all of the statutory exemptions utilized by the Government to withhold or excise material . . . were properly claimed." Docal v. Bennsinger, 543 F. Supp. 38, 49 (M.D. Pa. 1981). The Vaughn index is as detailed as it can be without actually divulging the protected information. The in camera inspection revealed that the exemptions were claimed in good faith and that they were not used to disguise illegal activity by the FBI. Consequently, the government will not be ordered to release these documents to Lieverman.
An appropriate order follows:
AND NOW, this 27th day of September, 1984, for the reasons stated in the accompanying memorandum, it is hereby ORDERED that plaintiff's motion for summary judgment is DENIED and defendant's motion for summary judgment is GRANTED.
AND NOW, this 27th day of September, 1984, it is hereby ORDERED that JUDGMENT is entered in favor of defendant and against plaintiff.