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ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - Freedom of Information Act: Ban on Releasing Names of Foreigners Trained by United States Military - Cameranesi v. United States Dep't of Defense.

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW--Freedom of Information Act: Ban on Releasing Names of Foreigners Trained by United States Military--Cameranesi v. United States Dep't of Defense, 856 F.3d 626 (9th Cir. 2017).

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requires federal agencies to release records of their practices, rules, procedures, and opinions to the general public upon request. (1) This statute is designed to provide the public with any information it requests from any federal agency. (2) FOIA contains nine exemptions regarding information that cannot be released to the public, some of which include trade secrets, personnel and medical files, and inter-agency memoranda. (3) In Cameranesi v. United States Department of Defense, (4) the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals contemplated whether releasing the names of foreign students and instructors trained by the United States Military at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), for the purposes of monitoring these individuals, constituted an invasion of privacy. (5) The Ninth Circuit applied a two-step test weighing a person's privacy rights with the public's rights to gather information and determined that releasing the names of the foreign students and instructors at WHINSEC is an invasion of privacy, despite the danger these individuals may pose. (6)

In 1946, the United States government opened the United States Army School of Americas (SOA), which later became known as WHINSEC, to provide Latin Americans with military training and education. (7) In 1989, nineteen Salvadoran soldiers who were once trained at WHINSEC killed six innocent Jesuit priests, their housekeeper, and the housekeeper's sixteen year old child in the Salvadoran Civil War. (8) Many human rights advocacy groups demanded the release of the names of all individuals trained at WHINSEC, a request which the Department of Defense granted in 1994. (9) The United States government enacted the Leahy Amendments which regulate the training provided to foreign soldiers. (10) After the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, the Department of Defense issued a memorandum instructing all branches of the Department of Defense to withhold any identifying information of soldiers in order to protect them; however the Department of Defense continued releasing names through 2004. (11)

On March 1, 2011, Theresa Cameranesi and Judith Liteky (Plaintiffs), members of a human rights group dedicated to keeping a close eye on the graduates of WHINSEC and for closing down such institutions, put in a FOIA request to the United States Department of Defense requesting the names of all students and instructors trained at WHINSEC between 2005 and 2010. (12) The United States Department of Defense denied this request in part by sending records, but withholding the names of the students and instructors, citing to Exemption 6 to FOIA, which exempts the release of personnel files and medical records. (13) After an unsuccessful administrative appeal by the Plaintiffs, they filed an action in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California claiming that the United States Department of Defense violated their duty under FOIA to disclose records requested by the public. (14) The Department of Defense argued that the information that was requested fell under the sixth exemption under FOIA and presented an affidavit from the Public Affairs Specialist of the school in support of their argument to withhold such information. (15) Motions for summary judgment were filed by both parties. (16)

The district court granted the plaintiffs' request for summary judgment. (17) In its opinion, the district court found that the Department of Defense failed to establish that the foreign students and instructors at WHINSEC had a privacy interest since their names were always released to the public prior to 2004 and that these individuals were never promised confidentiality. (18) On May 13, 2017, the United Stated Department of Defense filed an appeal in the Ninth Circuit which reversed the district court's decision, and applied a two-part balancing test: the Court weighed a person's privacy rights up against the public's right to the information, and concluded that releasing the names of the students and professors at WHINSEC is an invasion of privacy, which is exempt under the sixth exemption to FOIA. (19)

Prior to FOIA, the United States government had sole discretion whether to release information that citizens requested. (20) With the emergence of FOIA, the United States sought to offer its citizens transparency with the ability for citizens to request information they desired from different federal branches. (21) Despite the desire for transparency by citizens and some members of Congress, a few exceptions were carved out to protect the federal government against potential harm to national security and business interests. (22) Among the most popular exemptions to FOIA is the individual privacy exemption, which excludes the release of personnel and medical files. (23)

The individual privacy exemption to FOIA is one of the most controversial exemptions under FOIA. (24) Upon the adoption of these exemptions, a popular case that employed the individual privacy exemption was United States Dep't of Justice v. Reporters Comm. For Freedom of Press, (25) which determined the limits of what information may be requested from the United States Department of Justice. (26) In Reporters Comm. For Freedom of Press, a news group requested a list of individuals with criminal records from the United States Department of Justice. (27) The factors the Supreme Court of the United States looked to in order to determine if the requested documents were an invasion of privacy and barred under the sixth exemption to FOIA were: (1) the "nature of the requested documents (2) their relationship to the basic purpose of FOIA, which focused on the citizen's right to be informed about the government's actions." (28)

The invasion of privacy exception was further expanded and clarified by other Supreme Court cases. (29) The Supreme Court has created and applied a balancing test, which weighs the public interest in the requested information against the governmental interest in withholding such information. (30) Cases like United States Dep't of Defense v. Federal Labor Relations Auth., (31) have applied such balancing tests creating a precedent for future cases. (32) The Court in Federal Labor Relations Auth., applied the balancing test to the request for the release of federal workers' home addresses and determined that release of this information is a clear invasion of privacy. (33)

In Cameranesi v. United States Dep't of Defense, (34) the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals faced the issue of whether to grant a FOIA request to release the names of the foreign professors and students trained at WHINSEC. (35) The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals began by weighing the privacy rights of the individuals at WHINSEC against the public's right to the governmental information. (36) The Court determined that the sixth exemption, which protects individuals from releasing information that may amount to an invasion of privacy, outweighs the public's need for the information. (37) Specifically, the Court looked at whether releasing the names would subject the individuals to "possible embarrassment, harassment, or the risk of mistreatment," indicating that the threat must outweigh the need for the public to gain this information. (38)

Furthermore, the Court differentiated between information that can increase the public's knowledge of governmental activities and policies with information that provides the public with no greater understanding of governmental activity. (39) The Court held that releasing the names of the individuals would likely open them up to the possibility of harassment from the media and thus outweighs the benefit the public may have gained. (40) The Court analyzed the invasion of privacy, not only that foreign individuals may face, but also other members of the government in various agencies. (41) The dissent in Cameranesi rebutted the majority's analysis, finding that the public interest in disclosing these names far outweighs the privacy interest of these individuals. (42) The dissent reasoned that the purpose of FOIA was to make governmental activity transparent to the public. (43)

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals incorrectly reversed the district court's decision in finding that the students and teachers at WHINSEC had a greater privacy interest in keeping their names confidential. (44) By reversing this decision, the Ninth Circuit demonstrates it would rather protect an individual's needs for privacy than to promote national security by disclosing the names to groups that will track the trained individual. (45) Moreover, the Court avoided the public interest in knowing what the government's tasks are and who they are working with by failing to disclose the names, forgetting the purpose behind the creation of FOIA. (46)

The Court improperly applied the two-step test in determining that the foreign individual's privacy interests outweigh the need for the public information. (47) The disclosure of the names of these military trained individuals is necessary to keep the public aware of governmental activities. (48) This objective is clearly within the legislative intent and purpose of FOIA. (49) The public interest in the release of these names is great because it keeps a check on the United States Department of Defense, ensuring that they have not violated any part of the Leahy Amendment which restricts the government from providing training or assistance to foreign armed forces who have violated human rights. (50) Without the disclosure of these names and a periodic check-up on soldiers in the Central, South American, and Caribbean countries, the United States government might be in violation of its own laws. (51) Hence, public interest clearly outweighs the potential threat to individual privacy. (52)

Although the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals came to an improper conclusion, the Court correctly adopted the balancing test in order to evaluate whether governmental agencies properly deny individuals a request under the exemptions to FOIA. (53) This balancing test is crucial in determining whether a FOIA exemption is warranted in order to protect a governmental interest and allow the withholding of requested information. (54) Without the adoption of this balancing test, courts would have a hard time deciding between the government's and public's inter ests. (55) Future courts should adopt this test, to ensure that each case is weighed according to its own facts. (56)

In Cameranesi v. United States Dep't of Defense, (51) the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals considered whether releasing the names of foreign instructors and students trained at WHINSEC constituted an invasion of privacy. As the Ninth Circuit Judge stated in the Court's opinion, due to the possibility of "embarrassment, harassment, or risk of mistreatment," the privacy interest of the individuals at WHINSEC far outweighs the public's need for the information. By determining that, under the two-step test, individual privacy outweighed the need for the public to gain this information, the Cameranesi Court valued individual's needs for privacy more than national security, potentially placing a risk on our nation. In the future, the United States government may be in violation of one of its acts, and with the exemption to withhold names, the public may be clueless regarding governmental activities, completely undermining the legislative intent of FOIA.

(1.) See Freedom of Information Act, Pub. L. No. 89-487, 80 Stat. 250 (1966) (codified as 5 LJ.S.C. [section] 552) [hereinafter FOIA] (requiring federal agencies to release records upon public request). Under S 552(a)(1) every federal agency must release and publish information it is requested. Id. Under [section] 552(a)(1)(A)-(E) information that may be released includes information regarding federal employees' field organizations as to where the public may obtain information, governmental procedures, reports, examinations, rules, etc. Id. See Jett v. Federal Bureau of Investigation, 139 F. Supp. 3d 352, 359 (D.D.C. 2015) (analyzing scope of Freedom of Information Act). "FOIA requires that each agency, upon any request for records which (i) reasonably describes such records and (ii) is made in accordance with published rules ... make the records promptly available to any person...." Id. See Electronic Freedom of Information Act of 1996. Pub. L. No. 104-231, 110 Stat. 3048 (1996) (codified as 5 U.S.C [section] 552(a)(2)) (requiring federal agencies to make records available in electronic format). Every federal agency must publish and avail to the public opinions, statements, staff manuals, copies of records, and other records in electronic versions with reading rooms that are available for public use. Id.

(2.) See Margaret B. Kwoka, FOIA, Inc., 65 Duke L.J. 1361, 1363 (2016) (discussing vision of Freedom of Information Act drafters). The government wanted to be transparent in everything they are doing and to show the public their commitment to their vision, therefore they have created the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for government agencies to release information upon request from the public. Id. at 1364. "Congress enacted the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to allow oversight and accountability of governmental activities, imagining the prime intended users to be journalists. But this democracy-enhancing ideal is at odds with FOIA's reality: at some agencies, commercial--not public--interests dominate the landscape of FOIA requesters." Id. at 1361.

(3.) See 5 U.S.C. [section] 552(b)(l)-(9) (1966) (presenting information exempt from release under FOIA). The nine exemptions to the information that may be requested try to protect not only the individuals, but also the nation. Id. The first exemption under FOIA protects information and secrets that are of the interest of "national defense or foreign policy." Id. This exemption leaves out "only the secret portions of classified documents" and information that is not secret may be revealed and the secret information may be redacted. See Environmental Protection Agency v. Mink, 410 U.S. 73,74 (1973) (explaining how secret information in files may be redacted but still released). The second exemption to FOIA protects rules and practices of an agency. 5 U.S.C. [section] 552(b)(2). The third exemption to FOIA protects documents and pieces of information that are exempted for release by statutes. Id. [section] 552(b)(3). Releasing this information may "reveal some secret aspect of the grand jury's investigation, such matters as the identities of witnesses or jurors, the substance of testimony, the strategy or direction of the investigation, the deliberations or questions of jurors, and the like." Id. See Securities and Exchange Commission v. Dresser Indus., Inc., 628 F.2d 1368 (D.C. Cir. 1980) (explaining implications of releasing information barred by statutes). The fourth exemption sets out that privileged or confidential information that sets out trade secrets and commercial and financial information are exempt from release. 5 U.S.C. [section] 552(b)(4). The fifth exception bars memorandums and letters that are privileged from being released. Id. [section] 552(b)(5). The sixth exemption deals with personnel and medical files. Id. S 552(b)(6). This exemption tries to protect information that would warrant an invasion of privacy, stating the act " 'covers ... medical files ... the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.' Where a purely medical file is withheld under authority of Exemption (6), it will be for the District Court ultimately to determine any dispute as to whether that exemption was properly invoked." Id. See Dep't of the Air Force v. Rose, 425 U.S. 352, 373 (1976) (explaining process courts take to decide whether information private). The seventh exception deals with information that would interfere with law enforcement investigations. 5 U.S.C. [section] 552(b)(7). The eighth exemption protects against financial reports. Id. 8 552(b)(8). The final exemption prohibits the release of maps and geological information. Id. 8 552(b)(9).

(4.) 856 F.3d 626 (9th Cir. 2017).

(5.) See id. at 630 (discussing main issue in Court's opinion). The Court was weary to release these individuals' names as "[disclosures that would subject individuals to possible embarrassment, harassment, or the risk of mistreatment constitute nontrivial intrusions into privacy under Exemption 6." Id. at 638. The issue in this case was the sixth exemption under FOIA which exempts an individual from making a request under FOIA to retrieve health records or other records of an individual, because under FOIA that would be an invasion of privacy. Id. "In order to withhold information from disclosure under Exemption 6, the agency must specifically invoke the exemption and must carry the burden of proving that disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy." Id. at 637.

(6.) See id. at 646 (stating Court's holding). The sixth exemption was proper in order to withhold names from being disclosed because releasing the names would constitute an invasion of privacy. Id. at 637. "When evaluating an agency's invocation of an exemption to FOIA, we 'balance the public interest in disclosure against the interest Congress intended the [ejxemption to protect.'" See United States Dep't of Def. v. Fed. Labor Relations Auth., 510 U.S. 487, 495 (1994) (explaining use of balancing test to determine whether information can be withheld). The Court took the individual's privacy interests into consideration and determined that "[disclosures that would subject individuals to possible embarrassment, harassment, or the risk of mistreatment constitute nontrivial intrusions into privacy under Exemption 6." See Cameranesi, 856 F.3d at 638 (listing what constitutes an invasion of privacy). If releasing the names of individuals would open them up to a possibility of harassment, there is a privacy interest. Id. at 639. "An agency may carry its burden of establishing a nontrivial privacy interest by showing that the requested disclosure has "[t]he potential" to result in the sorts of harassment described in our cases." Id. at 639 (citing Lahr v. National Transportation Safety Board, 569 F.3d 964 (9th Cir. 2009) (describing burden agency must satisfy to prove possibility of harassment). The Court developed a two-step test to weigh a person's privacy right with the rights of the general public in requesting information under FOIA. See Cameranesi, 856 F.3d at 637 (explaining test court developed for holding). "First, we evaluate the personal privacy interest at stake to ensure 'that disclosure implicates a personal privacy interest that is nontrivial or ... more than [] de minimis.'" Id. The second step the Ninth Circuit took was "if the agency succeeds in showing that the privacy interest at stake is nontrivial, the requester 'must sho' that the public interest sought to be advanced is a significant one and that the information [sought] is likely to advance that interest.'" Id.

(7.) See Cameranesi, 856 F.3d at 630 (presenting history of United States Military training schools). The purpose of the United States Army School of the Americas was to provide "military education and training to military personnel of Central and South American countries and Caribbean countries." Id. The United States Army School of the Americas is now known as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC). See 10 U.S.C. [section] 343 (describing eligibility to enroll in WHINSEC). Under 10 U.S.C. [section] 343 "[t]he Secretary of Defense may operate an education and training facility for the purpose set forth in subsection (b). The facility shall be known as the 'Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation.'" Id. The United States Secretary may "designate the Secretary of a military department as the Department of Defense executive agent for carrying out the responsibilities of the Secretary of Defense under this section." Id. [section] (a)(2). This statute also sets forth the eligible person who may take place in this training. Id. [section] (c). Under 10 U.S.C. [section] 343(c) military, law enforcement, and civilian personnel who are from the Western Hemisphere may be eligible for education and training at WHINSEC. Id. The United States Secretary of State will be consulted to select the foreign personnel who will be eligible to be educated and train at WHINSEC. Id. "The curriculum of the Institute shall include mandatory instruction for each student, for at least 8 hours, on human rights, the rule of law, due process, civilian control of the military, and the role of the military in a democratic society." Id. [section] (d).

(8.) See Cameranesi, 856 F.3d at 630 (presenting example of dangerous individuals trained at United States Army School of Americas (SOA)). "[D]uring the Salvadoran Civil War, Salvadoran soldiers gunned down six Jesuit priests as well as their housekeeper and her 16-year-old daughter. It was later reported that 19 of the 26 soldiers implicated in these deaths had attended SOA." Id. These attacks sparked the formation of human rights and advocacy groups. Id. Many advocacy groups and human rights groups formed to try to track these foreigners after they were finished with the program. Id. These groups were "dedicated to monitoring SOA graduates and lobbying for closure of the school." Id. These human rights and advocacy groups requested information through FOIA from the Department of Defense regarding the names of the foreigners. Id.

(9.) See id. at 630-31 (providing description regarding purpose of advocacy groups). These advocacy groups were not only monitoring the graduates of WHINSEC but also "lobbying for closure of the school" to prevent potential harm these individuals may conduct. Id. at 630.

(10.) See Cameranesi v. United States Dep't of Defense, 856 F.3d 626, 630-31 (9th Cir. 2017) (describing how Congress dealt with backlash regarding WHINSEC). In order to deal with the numerous advocacy and human rights groups. Congress applied the Leahy Amendments to the Foreign Operations Appropriations Act. Id. See Foreign Operation, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, Pub. L. No. 105-118, 111 Stat. 2386 (1998) (discussing effect of Leahy Amendments on Department of Defense). This amendment stopped the United States Department of Defense from distributing money to another country "security forces if there was credible evidence that the unit 'has committed gross violations of human rights,' unless the Secretary of State reported to Congress that the foreign government was 'taking effective measures to bring the responsible members of the security forces unit to justice.'" See Cameranesi, 856 F.3d at 631. In the interest of United States security and national security, the Foreign Operation, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act prohibits from providing funds for military training, weapons, and anything that would place harm on national security. Id. Under 22 U.S.C. [section] 2378d, there shall be no assistance in providing another country with funds if that country is known to have violations of human rights. See 22 U.S.C. S 2378d(a) (listing limits on helping other security forces). In addition, this statute puts a duty to inform on the Secretary of State: "Secretary of State shall promptly inform the foreign government of the basis for such action and shall, to the maximum extent practicable, assist the foreign government in taking effective measures to bring the responsible members of the security forces to justice." Id. This statute also puts a duty on the Secretary to provide with updates regarding procedures to:
   (1) ensure that for each country the Department of State has a
   current list of all security force units receiving United States
   training, equipment, or other types of assistance; (2) facilitate
   receipt by the Department of State and United States embassies of
   information from individuals and organizations outside the United
   States Government about gross violations of human rights by
   security force units; (3) routinely request and obtain such
   information from the Department of Defense, the Central
   Intelligence Agency, and other United States Government sources;
   (4) ensure that such information is evaluated and preserved; (5)
   ensure that when an individual is designated to receive United
   States training, equipment, or other types of assistance the
   individual's unit is vetted as well as the individual; (6) seek to
   identify the unit involved when credible information of a gross
   violation exists but the identity of the unit is lacking; and (7)
   make publicly available, to the maximum extent practicable, the
   identity of those units for which no assistance shall be furnished
   pursuant to subsection (a).


Id. [section] (d).

(11.) See Cameranesi, 856 F.3d at 634 (discussing events which raised awareness of security issue). The event that raised the United States Department of Defense's awareness to protect the information of personnel was the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States. Id. These attacks took place less than a year after WHINSEC was established. Id. Less than two months after these attacks, the United States Department of Defense released a memorandum that instructed "all DOD components to 'ordinarily withhold lists of names and other personally identifying information of personnel ... in response to requests under the FOIA.'" Id. The Department of Defense later went on to state that information regarding United States military members are barred from being released. Id. The Department of defense later went on "mandating that 'Army components shall ordinarily withhold lists of names (including active duty military, civilian employees, contractors, members of the National Guard and Reserves, and military dependents) and other personally identifying information' in response to FOIA requests." Id.

(12.) See id. at 635-36 (discussing cause of action which sparked litigation). The two plaintiffs were both members of the human rights advocacy group wanting to shut down WHINSEC. Id. Congress has their own way of keeping track of the activities and personnel at WHINSEC: "To ensure that WHINSEC complies with its statutory obligations, Congress established an independent WHINSEC Board of Visitors charged with 'inquir[ing] into the curriculum, instruction, physical equipment, fiscal affairs, and academic methods of WHINSEC.'" Id. at 632. To make sure that Congress tracks the individuals at WHINSEC:
   (A) The Board shall inquire into the curriculum, instruction,
   physical equipment, fiscal affairs, and academic methods of the
   Institute, other matters relating to the Institute that the Board
   decides to consider, and any other matter that the Secretary of
   Defense determines appropriate. (B) The Board shall review the
   curriculum of the Institute to determine whether (i) the curriculum
   complies with applicable United States laws and regulations; (ii)
   the curriculum is consistent with United States policy goals toward
   Latin America and the Caribbean; (iii) the curriculum adheres to
   current United States doctrine; (iv) and the instruction under the
   curriculum appropriately emphasizes the matters specified in
   subsection (d)(1).


10 U.S.C.A. S 343(4)(A)-(B) (explaining steps government takes to track individual participating in WHINSEC).

(13.) See Cameranesi, 856 F.3d at 635-36 (discussing events leading up to litigation). Once the plaintiffs filed suit in the District Court of Northern California, in which they claimed that the United States Department of Defense violated their duty under FOIA, they filed a summary judgment motion. Id. at 636. The United States Department of Defense in their argument cited Exemption 6 to FOIA for withholding information. Id. The sixth exemption deals with personnel and medical files. See 5 U.S.C. [section] 552(b)(6). This exemption tries to protect information that would warrant an invasion of privacy; "the Act covers ' ... medical files ... the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.' Where a purely medical file is withheld under authority of Exemption (6), it will be for the District Court ultimately to determine any dispute as to whether that exemption was properly invoked." Id. See Dep't of Air Force v. Rose, 425 U.S. 352, 373 (1976) (explaining process courts take to decide whether information private).

(14.) See Cameranesi, 856 F.3d at 635 (explaining disputes before litigation). The plaintiffs sent a FOIA request to the "U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command" asking for "'the names, ranks, branches, countries of origin, lists of courses taken or taught, and/or dates and years of attendance of students, instructors, and guest instructors at [WHINSEC]' in fiscal years 2005 to 2010." Id. The plaintiffs later went on to specifically request information on WHINSEC's teachers and students. Id. After the Department of Defense rejected disclosing this information, the plaintiffs filed an appeal and later suit in the district court. Id. The plaintiffs claimed that "DOD violated FOIA by failing to disclose the requested records." Id. at 635-36.

(15.) See supra note 13 and accompanying text (explaining Department of Defense's rational for withholding information). The sixth exemption deals with personnel and medical files. Id. See 5 U.S.C. [section] 552(b)(6) (discussing exception to minimize invasion of privacy). This exemption tries to protect information that would warrant an invasion of privacy and protects medical files "the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy...." Id. "Where a purely medical file is withheld under authority of Exemption (6), it will be for the District Court ultimately to determine any dispute as to whether that exemption was properly invoked." See Rose, 425 U.S. at 373 (explaining process courts take to decide whether information private). After the Department of Defense in Cameranesi, denied the Plaintiffs' appeal, the plaintiffs sued alleging that the Department of Defense had violated FOIA by not releasing the records being asked for. See Cameranesi, 856 F.3d at 636 (explaining procedural history of case). Both parties filed motions for summary judgment. Id. The defendants argued that releasing the requested information would constitute an invasion of privacy and that the DOD is prohibited from releasing the information under the sixth exemption to FOIA. Id. Along with the defendants' motion for summary judgment, they submitted affidavits from a "Public Affairs Specialist" for the training school to support their motion. Id. The affidavit stated "'[t]here are a number of risks associated with releasing the names of WHINSEC students, instructors, and guest instructors,' because these students 'are directly involved in conflicts with criminal gangs, drug cartels, and other violent individuals.'" Id. The public affairs specialist went on to state that disclosing the names of the students and teachers at WHINSEC may increase "(1) the intelligence and security apparatuses of countries hostile to U.S. interests and to U.S. partner nations in the Western Hemisphere; (2) terrorist organizations operating in the Western Hemisphere; and (3) drug trafficking organizations operating in the Western Hemisphere." Id.

(16.) See Cameranesi v. United States Dep't of Defense, 856 F.3d 626, 636 (9th Cir. 2017) (explaining steps in litigation leading up to appeal). Motions for summary judgment were filed by both parties. Id. A motion for summary judgment asks the court to rule in the moving parties favor because the other side has no case. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a) (articulating motion made to court). "The court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. The court should state on the record the reasons for granting or denying the motion." Id. Summary judgment may not be precluded if the factual dispute is frivolous. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986) (providing basis for summary judgment). "Only disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary judgment." Id. "To carry their summary judgment burden, agencies are typically required to submit an index and 'detailed public affidavits' that, together, identify[] the documents withheld, the FOIA exemptions claimed, and a particularized explanation of why each document falls within the claimed exemption." Id. See Yonemoto v. Dep't of Veterans Affairs, 686 F.3d 681, 688 (9th Cir. 2011) (describing requirements for summary judgment).

(17.) See Cameranesi, 856 F.3d at 636 (discussing lower court's holding). The United States District Court for the Northern District of California granted the plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment. Id. "It held that DOD had not established that WHINSEC students and instructors had 'a substantial privacy interest in their names' because they had not been promised confidentiality and their names had been routinely provided to the public before 2004. The DOD timely appealed." Id. Upon the DOD filing a timely appeal, the Ninth Circuit Court of appeals reviewed the case. Id. The Court used a "unique" standard to review FOIA cases. See Yonemoto, 686 F.3d at 688 (describing technique court uses for reviewing FOIA cases). When reviewing FOIA cases, appellate courts first must determine '"whether an adequate factual basis exists to support the district court's decisions' ... [i]f not, [the court] must remand for further development of the record." Id. However, if there is a factual basis for the district court's decision, "'then the district court's conclusions of fact are reviewed for clear error'--which is the way in which the proceeding is treated like a bench trial-- 'while legal rulings, including its decision that a particular exemption applies, are reviewed de novo.'" Id.

(18.) See Cameranesi, 856 F.3d at 636 (discussing assertions made by defense). Summary judgment was granted by the district court, holding that "DOD had not established that WHINSEC students and instructors had 'a substantial privacy interest in their names' because they had not been promised confidentiality and their names had been routinely provided to the public before 2004." Id. The United States Department of Defense argued that they had not released any names including the names of the instructors and students at WHINSEC since 2004. Id. at 642. The Department of Defense argued that since 2004, they have been redacting all the names of the students at WHINSEC from all public documents. Id. The Department has since adopted a protocol method that requires their personnel to release records only ' upon the students' consent or the consent from the students' country official. Id. See Al-Turki v. Department of Justice, 175 F. Supp. 3d 1153 (D. Colo. 2016) (discussing burden on federal government for withholding disclosure). The federal agency resisting disclosure bears the burden of justifying withholding. Id. In order for a federal agency to make a reasonable decision for "invoking a FOIA exemption is sufficient if it appears logical or plausible ... [i]f the plaintiff can 'offer[] nothing more than opinion and speculation' regarding the content of the government's sworn declarations, he 'does not undermine the deference normally accorded to an agency.'" Id. at 1170.

(19.) See Cameranesi. 856 F.3d at 637-38 (presenting Court's holding). The United States of Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that disclosing the names of the foreign individuals and students at WHINSEC "rise to a 'clearly unwarranted' invasion of privacy and that the information requested by [Pjlaintiffs is exempt from disclosure under Exemption 6 [to] FOIA." Id. at 645. The court applied the two-step test in which they balanced the public interest of having the names of these individuals released with the privacy interest of the students and instructors at WHINSEC. Id. The Plaintiffs argued that the need for releasing the names of these individuals is to track their conduct upon leaving the institute. Id. Furthermore, the Plaintiffs argued that releasing the names of these individuals educates the public on the "agency's performance of its statutory duties and in letting the public know what their government is up to because if WHINSEC attendees violate human rights once they return to their service in foreign governments, it shows that WHINSEC human rights training is not effective." Id. at 644. The Court weighed the public interest against the privacy interest by taking evidence that the Department of Defense brought forth "that disclosing the names of WHINSEC students and instructors would put them at risk of harassment, retaliation, or even death." Id. at 645. "Where serious privacy interests are present on one side of the balance, the public's marginal interests will not be enough to require disclosure." Id. See AquAlliance v. United States Bureau of Reclamation, 139 F. Supp. 3d 203,212 (D.C. Cir. 2015) (applying two-step test to facts presented). "First, the court determines whether there is a greater than de minimis privacy interest in preventing the document's disclosure . . . [i]f so, the court then engages in a balancing test that weighs 'that privacy interest in non-disclosure against the public interest in the release of the records[.]'" Id.

(20.) See United States Dep't of Justice v. Reporters Comm. for Freedom of Press, 489 U.S. 749, 754 (1989) (discussing creation of FOIA). "[FOIA] requires every agency 'upon any request for records which . . . reasonably describes such records' to make such records 'promptly available to any person.'" Id. FOIA was created after the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) implemented two exceptions to their procedure of prohibiting public access to documents regarding information. Id.

(21.) See Hunton & Williams v. United States Dep't of Justice, 590 F.3d 272, 288 (4th Cir. 2010) (explaining purpose of FOIA in promoting government transparency). "The Act reflects both a commitment to transparency and to administrative efficacy, to the public's right to know and to agencies' duty to fulfill their stated missions. Here those interests are obvious." Id. The purpose of FOIA was not for congress to hide or keep any wrongdoings or any information beneficial to themselves away from the public eye. Id. "Neither did it intend, however, to force federal agencies to surrender critical civil discovery protections and litigate with one hand behind their backs. It is the job of the courts, bearing in mind the government's burden, to give effect to both of the values that FOIA seeks to advance." Id. Although the Purpose of FOIA is to be transparent with the public, it implemented nine exceptions to protect against the release of information that might be damaging to individuals or the nation. Id. at 277. FOIA acknowledges that "'public disclosure is not always in the public interest.'" Id. See also Baldrige v. Shapiro, 455 U.S. 345, 353 (1982) (discussing purpose of FOIA). "The [Freedom of Information] Act expressly recognizes, however, that public disclosure is not always in the public interest and consequently provides that agency records may be withheld from disclosure under any one of the nine exemptions defined in 5 U.S.C. [section] 552(b)." Id.

(22.) See 5 U.S.C. [section] 552(b) (listing exemptions to FOIA). See supra note 3 and accompanying text (describing each exemption to FOIA). The first exemption to FOIA deals with the need to keep information a secret for the interest of national security and foreign policy. Id. [section] 552(b)(1). This exemption is purely established by an executive order. Id. The second exemption to FOIA is "related solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of an agency[.]" Id. [section] 552(b)(2). The third exemption to FOIA exempts "disclosure by statute" if the statute "(i) requires that the matters be withheld from the public in such a manner as to leave no discretion on the issue; or (ii) establishes particular criteria for withholding or refers to particular types of matters to be withheld|.]" Id. [section] 552(b)(3). The fourth exemption involves protecting information that amounts to trade secrets or other commercial and financial information that is "obtained from a person and privileged or confidential...." Id. 8 552(b)(4). The fifth exemption protects "memorandums or letters that would not be available by law to a party other than an agency in litigation with the agency, provided that the deliberative process privilege shall not apply to records created 25 years or more before the date on which the records were requested...." Id. at [section] 552(b)(5). The sixth exemption protects against the release of "personnel and medical files and similar files the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy...." Id. [section] 552(b)(6). The seventh exemption protects against the release of law enforcement records and information. Id. [section] 552(b)(7). The eighth exemption protects against the release of information "contained in or related to exa mination, operating, or condition reports prepared by, on behalf of, or for the use of an agency responsible for the regulation or supervision of financial institutions...." Id. S 552(b)(8). The final exemption, the ninth exemption, protects against the release of "geological and geophysical information and data, including maps, concerning wells." Id. [section] 552(b)(9).

(23.) See 5 U.S.C. [section] 552(b)(6) (discussing invasion of privacy exemption to FOIA). The sixth exemption to FOIA is the invasion of privacy exemption that protects against the release of information relating to "personnel and medical files and similar files the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy...." Id. "Congress intended FOIA exemption 6 to be a broad exception to the disclosure requirements of the FOIA where such disclosure would 'constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.'" Id. See Iowa Citizens for Cmty. Improvement v. United States Dep't of Agriculture, 256 F. Supp. 2d 946, 952 (S.D. Iowa 2002) (applying two-step test to determine whether 6th exemption to FOIA protects against invasion of privacy). "FOIA's exemption 6 obligates a court to balance the right of the public to information held by its government against the right of individuals identified in such records to personal privacy." Id. at 951.

(24.) See 5 U.S.C. S 552(b)(6) (discussing sixth exemption to FOIA). "Congress intended FOIA exemption 6 to be a broad exception to the disclosure requirements of the FOIA where such disclosure would 'constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.'" Id. See Iowa Citizens for Cmty. Improvement, 256 F. Supp. 2d at 952 (discussing Congress' intent for exemption 6 to FOIA). In enacting the sixth exemption to FOIA, Congress wanted to protect individuals from having their information released due to the potential harm and danger it may cause these individuals. Id.

(25.) See United States Dep't of Justice v. Reporters Comm. for Freedom of Press, 489 U.S. 749 (1989) (explaining limits to information requested). The plaintiffs, a news group, wanted to acquire a "rap sheet" which contains information including criminal records of individuals from United States Department of Justice. Id. at 752. "The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has accumulated and maintains criminal identification records, sometimes referred to as 'rap sheets,' on over 24 million persons." Id. at 751. The issue presented to the United States Supreme Court was whether "the disclosure of the contents of such a file to a third party 'could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy' within the meaning of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)." Id. The Court held that even though arrest records are public, it did not mean that "an individual has no interest in limiting disclosure or dissemination of the information." Id. at 769. The Court balanced the need for the public information with the purpose of FOIA to hold "that a third party's request for law enforcement records or information about a private citizen can reasonably be expected to invade that citizen's privacy, and that when the request seeks no 'official information' about a Government agency.... the invasion of privacy is 'unwarranted.'" Id. at 780.

(26.) See id. (listing limitations to exemptions). The Court acknowledges the nine exemptions Congress has carved out from the disclosing requirements under FOIA. Id. "Congress 'clearly intended' the FOIA 'to give any member of the public as much right to disclosure as one with a special interest [in a particular document]' ... [FOIA's] sole concern is with what must be made public or not made public." Id. at 771-72. Comparing the sixth and seventh exemptions to FOIA, the seventh exemption is broader in two ways: "[f]irst, whereas Exemption 6 requires that the invasion of privacy be 'clearly unwarranted,' the adverb 'clearly' is omitted from Exemption 7(C). This omission is the product of a 1974 amendment adopted in response to concerns expressed by the President." Id. at 756. The Court further stated "whereas Exemption 6 refers to disclosures that 'would constitute' an invasion of privacy, Exemption 7(C) encompasses any disclosure that 'could reasonably be expected to constitute' such an invasion. This difference is also the product of a specific amendment." Id.

(27.) See id. at 750 (explaining facts leading up to litigation). CBS news and other reporters wanted the criminal records for the Medico family from the Department of Justice. Id. at 757. "The Pennsylvania Crime Commission had identified the family's company, Medico Industries, as a legitimate business dominated by organized crime figures. Moreover, the company allegedly had obtained a number of defense contracts as a result of an improper arrangement with a corrupt Congressman." Id. The reporters put in FOIA requests and the FBI disclosed information of three of the family members, however after putting in another FOIA request for the last family member, the FBI denied the request. Id. "The FOIA requests sought disclosure of any arrests, indictments, acquittals, convictions, and sentences of any of the four Medicos." Id.

(28.) See id. at 752 (listing factors Court applied to requested information). The Court looked to multiple factors in deciding whether or not to release the requested information to the public. Id. The Court looked toward the seventh exemption to FOIA and stated that disclosure of private information must be determined based on the "nature of the requested document and its relationship to 'the basic purpose of the [FOIA] "to open agency action to the light of public scrutiny'" ... rather than on the particular purpose for which the document is being requested." Id. at 772. The Court stated "whether an invasion of privacy is warranted cannot turn on the purposes for which the request for information is made." Id. at 771. Rather, the question turns on "the nature of the requested document and its relationship to 'the basic purpose of the [FOIA] "to open agency action to the light of public scrutiny.'"" Id. at 772. The Court explained that even though the information being requested is for criminals, they treat all information that may have an effect on the safety or the privacy of an individual to the same degree. Id. at 771-72.

(29.) See United States Dep't of Defense v. Federal Labor Relations Auth., 510 U.S. 487, 494-95 (1994) (explaining invasion of privacy exemption to FOIA). FOIA "reflects 'a general philosophy of full agency disclosure unless information is exempted under clearly delineated statutory language.' Thus, while 'disclosure, not secrecy, is the dominant objective of [FOIA],' there are a number of exemptions from the statute's broad reach." Id. at 494. The FOIA exemptions protect personal information unless the request falls beyond the exemptions listed. Id. at 499-500. Individual privacy under the sixth exemption to FOIA "'encompass[es] the individual's control of information concerning his or her person.' An individual's interest in controlling the dissemination of information regarding personal matters does not dissolve simply because that information may be available to the public in some form." Id. at 500.

(30.) See id. at 497-98 (explaining balancing test application). The United States Supreme Court balanced the public interest in the requested information, the home addresses of federal workers, with the governmental interest in protecting such information. Id. "FOIA-related public interest in disclosure" was virtually nonexistent because the employee's home addresses contributed no information regarding the federal agencies' activities. Id. at 500. Even though home addresses are publically available, "but '[i]n an organized society, there are few facts that are not at one time or another divulged to another.'" Id. "The privacy interest protected by Exemption 6 'encompass[es] the individual's control of information concerning his or her person.' An individual's interest in controlling the dissemination of information regarding personal matters does not dissolve simply because that information may be available to the public in some form." Id.

(31.) See id. at 494-95 (discussing what personal information is exempt from release under FOIA). A worker's union filed charges of unfair practices due to a refusal by the Federal Labor Relations Authority to releasing home addresses of federal workers. Id. at 490. On appeal, the Court initially noted that the federal agencies' good-faith bargaining obligation under the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (Labor Statute), 5 U.S.C. [section][section] 7101-7135, required disclosure of the employees' home addresses to the unions. Id. at 489-92. The Court held that releasing home addresses of federal workers "would constitute a 'clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.'" Id. at 502 (quoting 5 U.S.C. S 552(b)(6)). "FOIA, thus, does not require the agencies to divulge the addresses, and the Privacy Act, therefore, prohibits their release to the unions." Federal Labor Relations Auth.. 510 U.S. at 502.

(32.) See Federal Labor Relations Auth., 510 U.S. at 494-96 (applying balancing test). The Court first assessed whether there was a public need for the information that was requested. Id. The Court reasoned that disclosing employee's home addresses is prohibited under the Privacy Act and the information will not contribute any meaningful information regarding the government. Id. at 497-98. The Court reasoned that there was no public interest in the need for the federal workers' home addresses. Id. The Court further reasoned that home addresses provided no beneficial information regarding governmental activity for purposes of FOIA. Id. Specifically, the Court looked at each employee's privacy interest in keeping their home addresses confidential. Id.

(33.) See id. at 499-02 (discussing Court's holding). The Court concluded that disclosing the home addresses would invade the employee's right to personal privacy. Id. The Court reasoned that due to the privacy interests of the employees weighed against "the negligible FOIA-related public interest in disclosure, we conclude that disclosure would constitute a 'clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.'" Id. at 502 (quoting 5 U.S.C. [section] 552(b)(6)). "FOIA, thus, does not require the agencies to divulge the addresses, and the Privacy Act, therefore, prohibits their release to the unions." Federal Labor Relations Auth., 510 U.S. at 502.

(34.) 856 F.3d 626 (9th Cir. 2017).

(35.) See supra note 5 and accompanying text (discussing issue of case). See Cameranesi, 856 F.3d at 630 (stating issue of case). "This case requires us to determine whether the names of foreign students and instructors at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC) are exempt from disclosure under Exemption 6 of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)." Id. The Court first began by giving a background as to how the disclosure policy has changed in the early 2000s due to terrorist attacks on the United States. Id. The Court then wanted to determine whether releasing the names would violate the sixth exemption to FOIA which protects the release of personnel and medical files. Id. at 637. The Court had to apply a two-step test to determine whether the public's need for the information outweighed the individual's right to privacy. Id.

(36.) See supra note 6 and accompanying text (discussing Court's implementation of two-step balancing test). See Cameranesi, 856 F.3d at 637 (explaining two-part test adopted by Court). "Our cases establish a two-step test for balancing individual privacy rights against the public's right of access." Id. The Court first weighed the individuals' personal privacy interests. Id. "Disclosures that would subject individuals to possible embarrassment, harassment, or the risk of mistreatment constitute nontrivial intrusions into privacy under Exemption 6." Id. at 638. The Court held that the possibility of harassment from the public "gives rise to a cognizable privacy interest." Id. at 639. Next, the Court looked at the public's interest or need for the information. Id. "At this step, we balance the individual's right of privacy against the public interest in disclosure." Id. The Court looked at two factors to analyze the public interest in the information. Id. "First, 'we examine whether "the public interest sought to be advanced is a significant one"--one "more specific than having the information for its own sake.'"" Id. "Second, we examine 'whether the requested information "is likely to advance that interest.'"" Id. (quoting Nat'l Archives & Records Admin, v. Favish, 541 U.S. 157, 172 (2004)) (internal quotation marks omitted). "[Considering whether the public interest is significant, 'the only relevant public interest in the FOIA balancing analysis is the extent to which disclosure of the information sought would she[d] light on an agency's performance of its statutory duties or otherwise let citizens know what their government is up to.'" Id. at 639-40.

(37.) See supra note 15 and accompanying text (explaining sixth exemption to FOIA). The sixth exemption to FOIA restricts the government from granting a FOIA request, involving the release of an individual's personnel or medical files. Id. See also 5 U.S.C. [section] 552(b)(6) (presenting invasion of personal privacy exemption to FOIA). Disclosing an individual's medical or personnel files would be rendered an invasion of privacy. Id. See also Cameranesi, 856 F.3d at 637 (discussing advantages and disadvantages of releasing information regarding military personnel). The Court in Cameranesi held that the issue with the release of the foreigners' names is in regard to:
   Exemption 6, which provides that FOIA "does not apply to ...
   personnel and medical files and similar files the disclosure of
   which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal
   privacy." 5 U.S.C. [section] 552(b)(6). In order to withhold
   information from disclosure under Exemption 6, the agency must
   specifically invoke the exemption and must carry the burden of
   proving that disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted
   invasion of personal privacy.


Id.

(38.) See supra note 5 and accompanying text (explaining risks associated with releasing names of teachers and students at WHINSEC). In deciding the invasion of privacy risks associated with releasing the names of the individuals, the Court had to determine the risks involved. Id. See Cameranesi, 856 F.3d at 638 (analyzing potential risks of releasing information of individuals trained by military). "Disclosures that would subject individuals to possible embarrassment, harassment, or the risk of mistreatment constitute nontrivial intrusions into privacy under Exemption 6." Id. The Court held that there is a privacy interest if the release of some information would subject that party to a risk of harassment from others. Id. "An agency may carry its burden of establishing a nontrivial privacy interest by showing that the requested disclosure has '[t]he potential' to result in the sorts of harassment described in our cases." Id. at 639. The Court stated that even though the risk for embarrassment is only a possibility, "the invasion of a personal privacy interest may be 'clearly unwarranted' even when the invasion of privacy is far from a certainty." Id.

(39.) See supra note 1 and accompanying text (describing types of information permitted for release). The Court discussed how the information that is requested from the public must be used to further the public's knowledge regarding governmental activity. Id. See also Cameranesi, 856 F.3d at 638 (discussing benefits of releasing names of foreign individuals trained by military). The Court stated that the information requested must provide the public with significant "understanding of the operations or activities of the government." Id. at 640. "In other words, information about private citizens that is accumulated in various governmental files but that reveals little or nothing about an agency's own conduct is not the type of information to which FOIA permits access." Id. Courts often disregard the reason for the FOIA request "because Congress clearly intended the FOIA to give any member of the public as much right to disclosure as one with a special interest." Id.

(40.) See supra note 33 and accompanying text (explaining Court's reasoning for holding). In its analysis, the Court first applied the two- step balancing test to the facts of the case. Id. See also Cameranesi v. United States Dep't of Defense, 856 F.3d 626, 641 (9th Cir. 2017) (holding releasing individuals' names constitutes invasion of privacy). The Court held that the individuals' privacy interest in maintaining their identity outweighs the public's need for releasing the names of the teachers and professors training at WHINSEC. Id. at 644-46.

(41.) See supra note 29 and accompanying text (explaining risks of releasing personal information of individuals). The Court in Federal Labor Relations Auth., held that there is an exemption to releasing the home addresses of government officials. See United States Dep't of Defense v. Federal Labor Relations Auth., 510 U.S. 487, 490 (1994) (holding disclosure constitutes invasion of privacy). The Court first had to weigh the risk of disclosing the home addresses of the federal employees. Id. The Court then applied the two-step balancing test and held "[b]ecause the privacy interest of bargaining unit employees in nondisclosure of their home addresses substantially outweighs the negligible FOIA-related public interest in disclosure, we conclude that disclosure would constitute a 'clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.'" Id. at 502. See also Cameranesi, 856 F.3d at 642-44 (holding releasing individuals' names constitutes invasion of privacy). The Court here argued that if we allow for the release of the names of the foreign individuals at WHINSEC, then the government would also need to allow for the release of names of all other governmental officials in any government agency. Id.

(42.) See Cameranesi, 856 F.3d at 646-49 (outlining arguments in favor of releasing names of individuals at WHINSEC). The dissent harped on the fact that disclosing the names of the students and teachers at WHINSEC would give the U.S. citizens insight as to what the government is doing and how their tax dollars are spent in the training that is conducted. Id. at 648. The dissent further goes into detail about how the information would advance the public's interest in "how well the Departments of Defense and State are performing their statutory duties." Id. Furthermore, the dissent argued that the disclosure would inform the U.S. citizens about the governmental activities and whether the government is in violation of its own laws. Id.

(43.) See Hunton & Williams v. United States Dep't of Justice, 590 F.3d 272, 277 (4th Cir. 2010) (explaining legislative intent for creation of FOIA). "The Act reflects both a commitment to transparency and to administrative efficacy, to the public's right to know and to agencies' duty to fulfill their stated missions. Here those interests are obvious." Id. at 288. The legislature wanted to hide its activities from the public, because it wanted to provide the public with the most transparency to ensure it is working for the best interest of the public. Id. "Congress did not intend to shield from the public's eye the efforts of private parties to lobby an undecided agency to expend public resources and shape agency policy in ways beneficial to themselves. Neither did it intend, however, to force federal agencies to surrender critical civil discovery protections...." Id. However, the Court notes that it must weigh both interests in deciding whether or not to release the information requested by the public. Id.

(44.) See Cameranesi, 856 F.3d at 635-36 (discussing reversal of district court's decision). The district court in Cameranesi granted the Plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment. Id. at 636. The district court analyzed the privacy issue raised by the Department of Defense and held that the disclosure did not invade these individuals' privacy, because the Department of Defense has released the names of individuals trained at WHINSEC on a regular basis since 2004. Id. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed this decision stating that while the names have been released since 2004, this release will subject the individuals to potential harassment from the public and media. Id. at 645.

(45.) See Cameranesi, 856 F.3d at 646-48 (explaining dissent's argument as to public's need for information being denied). In the dissenting opinion, Circuit Judge Watford stated that disclosing the names of the individuals would help the public evaluate the Department of Defense's performance and its compliance with duties set out in certain statutes. Id. at 648. Judge Watford further explains how with the Department of Defense's statutory duties and how it must conform to its guidelines, especially statutes such as the Leahy Act which bans the United States government from assisting any foreign country's armed forces known to commit crimes against humanity. Id. at 648. Without the release of the names, the dissent argues that we cannot track who the United States is training; putting the public in the dark about how its tax dollars are being spent. Id. The Court stated that the dissent did not agree with its application of the balancing test because the Court did not explain the reasons for disclosing the names prior to 2004. Id. "The dissent argues that because the DOD disclosed the names of SOA and WHINSEC students and instructors until 2004, it must "provide a satisfactory explanation' for its change in policy in order to invoke Exemption 6." Id. at 645.

(46.) See Cameranesi v. United States Dep't of Defense, 856 F.3d 626, 645 (9th Cir. 2017) (explaining how withholding information goes against Congress' intent to promote governmental transparency). The dissent argues that "[disclosing the names of the Institute's foreign students and instructors is necessary to allow citizens to remain informed about 'what their government is up to.'" Id. at 648. To ensure Congress' intent for FOIA is maintained, the Court should release the information because the stakes for potentially invading the privacy of the students and teachers is low. Id.

(47.) See Cameranesi, 856 F.3d at 637 (describing two-step test court applied to facts). The Court applied the two-step test incorrectly because it gave too much weight to the individual's privacy interest. Id. at 650. In seeking the disclosure of the requested information, the public wants to ensure tax dollars are used to promote communities, so that the government is prioritizing general welfare and considers the public's interest when making decisions. Id. When the public is denied this information, the government should provide the requesters an explanation as to why releasing the names now is not allowed but releasing the same information in 2004 was appropriate. Id. at 651. The dissent stated that the public is "entitled to demand from the Department some explanation for why it is now saying that the risks of disclosure are too great when apparently it did not believe that to be true before. Otherwise, we are simply rubber-stamping the government's decision." Id. at 651.

(48.) See supra note 45 and accompanying text (stating factors outweigh personal privacy interest in Court's decision). Since the purpose of FOIA is not to protect the government information and activities, but rather to promote transparency between all government interests and the public, withholding these names clearly eliminates the goal for transparency. Id. See also Cameranesi, 856 F.3d at 650 (analyzing factors). Disclosing the names would "allow the public to assess the State Department's performance of its vetting functions, as well as the Defense Department's performance of its duty to consult with the State Department and to refrain from training any units with suspect human rights records" and would ensure FOIA is accomplishing its legislative intent. Id. at 648.

(49.) See supra note 21 and accompanying text (establishing main objective for creation of FOIA). See also Hunton & Williams v. United States Dep't of Justice, 590 F.3d 272, 288 (4th Cir. 2010) (explaining need for governmental transparency). In Hunton & Williams, while the purpose of FOIA is to promote governmental transparency, the government was clearly shielding the public from this information, even though the public had a valid and reasonable FOIA request. Id. "The Act reflects both a commitment to transparency and to administrative efficacy, to the public's right to know and to agencies' duty to fulfill their stated missions." Id. Although the public has the right to transparency and to information through FOIA, when challenged, the courts must apply the two-step balancing test to determine whether releasing the information would violate an exemption under FOIA, as well as any other laws. Id.

(50.) See Cameranesi, 856 F.3d at 647-48 (explaining potential acts government agencies may be violating without public's knowledge). The dissent explains how by shielding the information from the public, the public has no way of keeping track of what the government is doing, such as violating the Leahy Amendment. Id. at 647. The Leahy Amendment "bar[s]the military from assisting any foreign security unit credibly believed to have committed human rights abuses unless that unit's government had taken steps to bring the responsible parties to justice." Id. Here, there is history of the foreign trained soldiers gunning down a plane with six Jesuit priests on board. Id. See also supra note 8 and accompanying text (explaining dangerous individuals trained at WHINSEC). If our government continues to train these foreign soldiers, the government may be in violation of the Leahy Amendment; and by not releasing the names of the trained individuals, the public would never have access to the information. Id. See also Cameranesi, 856 F.3d at 647-48 (explaining effects of nondisclosure of foreigner's names). The potential effects of nondisclosure can be great due to the history of crimes committed by some WHINSEC graduates. Id. at 647.

(51.) See Cameranesi, 856 F.3d at 647-48 (demonstrating government's potential violations of Leahy Amendment). Disclosing the names of the individuals would be beneficial not only to the public, but also to the government because the human rights groups would monitor these individuals, to ensure they do not perpetrate crimes against humanity through the training received at WHINSEC. Id. at 647. However, if the government does not release the names of the individuals trained at WHINSEC and those individuals commit a crime that constitutes a "gross violation of human rights," then the United States government will have violated the Leahy Amendments. Id. at 648. See also supra note 10 and accompanying text (discussing Leahy Amendment). Under the Leahy Amendment, the United States will not provide any assistance to any foreign government if there is information connecting that government with human rights violations. Id.

(52.) See Lahr v. National Transportation Safety Board, 569 F.3d 964, 978 (9th Cir. 2009) (demonstrating what Court must find to outweigh individual's rights to privacy). In order for the Court to outweigh an individual's privacy interest, the Court must find a need for the public to be informed about government activities. Id. See also Cameranesi v. United States Dep't of Defense, 856 F.3d 626, 647-48 (9th Cir. 2017) (explaining Court's requirement for show of public need for requested information). The Plaintiffs clearly showed that there is a need based on prior bad acts committed by these foreign trained soldiers at WHINSEC. Id.

(53.) See Cameranesi, 856 F.3d at 647-48 (explaining application of balancing test Court applies). Although the Court came to an improper decision, it correctly implemented the two-step balancing test. Id. at 639. The balancing test was established by case law. Id. at 637. When utilized properly, this balancing test is very effective, because it balances the public's need for the information with the issue the government agency is trying to protect via nondisclosure. Id.

(54.) See id. (demonstrating effectiveness of balancing test). This balancing test is crucial because without it the government would release whatever information it found fit under FOIA and would not disclose the information it believes meets an exemption. Id. at 637-38. The government would have subjective discretion to release information, which would create more litigation and debate as to whether the challenged information should be released to the public or withheld to promote another interest. Id.

(55.) See id. (explaining importance of balancing test). Without the balancing test, the government would have full discretion in deciding whether to release the information requested, based on its interpretation of FOIA. Id. at 648-51. Ho-vever, with this balancing test, the public may raise the issue to a court and through litigation, may find the reasons for the need for withholding such information. Id.

(56.) See id. (predicting future use of balancing test). This test is effective so long as FOIA exists, because it provides the public with the opportunity to appeal a government decision for withholding the requested information. Id. at 650.

(57.) 856 F.3d 626 (9th Cir. 2017).
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