The Nine FOIA Exemptions

The Nine FOIA Exemptions

Learn about the nine exemptions to disclosure under FOIA, such as classified information, internal personnel rules, confidential commercial information, and law enforcement records.


Section 552(b) lists nine categories of information exempt from FOIA disclosure requirements, known as the FOIA exemptions.

I.              Nature of the Exemptions

The FOIA exemptions are discretionary, not mandatory. A private party has no cause of action under FOIA if an agency chooses to waive an exemption and disclose material that damages the party. Rather, the party’s relief is limited to the provisions of the APA...