The Freedom of Information Act of 1974 (FOIA) regulates the disclosure of federal agency records. Subsection (b)(3) of the FOIA, commonly referred to as exemption 3, permits agencies to withhold information under FOIA that is specifically prohibited from disclosure by other federal statutes. For a nondisclosure provision in a separate federal statute to qualify for exemption 3 status, the nondisclosure provision must meet the following criteria: either the statute must require that matters be withheld from the public in such a manner as to leave no discretion on the issue; or the statute must establish particular criteria for withholding or refer to particular types of matters to be withheld; and it must specifically cite FOIA exemption 3. If the statute meets the criteria of exemption 3 and the information to be withheld falls within the scope and coverage of the FOIA, the information is exempt from disclosure under exemption 3. Statutes that meet these criteria are referred to as FOIA Exemption 3 statutes.
Examples of FOIA Exemption 3 statutes are:
- Aviation and Transportation Security Act of 2001 (ATSA), which designates 16 categories of sensitive security information and includes information submitted pursuant to a requirement and information voluntarily submitted;
- Critical Infrastructure Information Act of 2002 (CIIA), which provides confidentiality protections for critical infrastructure information voluntarily submitted to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
- Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (MTSA) which requires covered entities to submit information to the federal government.
- Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), as amended, which requires community water systems to perform vulnerability analyses of their facilities and includes protections for vulnerability assessments.
- ↑ 5 U.S.C. §552(b)(3).
- ↑ Id. §552(b)(3).
- ↑ 49 U.S.C. §40119.
- ↑ Pub. L. No. 107-188, 42 U.S.C. §300i-2.