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Feds Can Censor 2004|Memo on Security Plan

(CN) - The Department of Homeland Security properly withheld portions of a memo about "Operation Front Line," an effort to thwart potential terrorist activities during the 2004 presidential election and inauguration, the 2nd Circuit ruled.

The Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Project and the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization filed requests under the Freedom of Information Act, believing the government had indiscriminately targeted men from Muslim-majority countries and charged them with minor immigration violations.

The government released thousands of pages of information about Operation Front Line, but withheld some documents. The DHS later released most of the remaining documents, either voluntarily or under order from a federal judge.

The project again appealed, this time asking for an uncensored version of the 2004 memo, the so-called "Forman Memorandum," which reportedly describes three "priorities" for investigation.

The Manhattan-based federal appeals court said the redacted lines fell under an exemption for documents that "would disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations."

"Our in camera review of the entire Forman Memorandum leads us to conclude that the redacted portions constitute 'techniques and procedures' for law enforcement investigation," U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff wrote for the three-judge panel.

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