FIA-20-0010 - In the Matter of Kathleen C. Murphy

You are here

On December 6, 2019 the Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) denied a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Appeal filed by Kathleen C. Murphy (Appellant) from a final determination issued by the Department of Energy's Office of Public Information (OPI). The Appellant's FOIA request sought a copy of the internet browser history of her son, who is deceased. On Appeal, the Appellant alleged that the OPI improperly redacted portions of responsive documents, that the responsive documents were incomplete, and that the OPI needed to answer certain questions for her to interpret terms used in the documents provided to her. After review, the OHA determined that the Appellant's questions regarding technology terminology need not be answered, as answering questions is not the function of a FOIA request. OHA also determined that OPI properly withheld third-party information under Exemption 6. Further, OHA determined that although the Appellant was seeking information regarding her deceased son, the deceased still retained a privacy interest and that the Appellant had not identified any public interest in the disclosure of the redacted portions of the responsive documents that outweighed that privacy interest. Therefore, information was also appropriately redacted based on the deceased's privacy interest pursuant to Exemption 6. OHA Case No. FIA-20-0010.