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WASHINGTON -- On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously against AT&T’s claim that personal privacy rights prevent the federal government from disclosing agency records that might reveal corporate wrongdoing to the public. The case, Federal Communications Commission v. AT&T, No. 09-1279, holds that AT&T may not invoke FOIA exemptions that protect “personal privacy” in order to stop FCC disclosure of documents that refer to it.

In November, Free Press filed an amicus curiae brief in the case outlining the significant impact of withholding information from public disclosure.

Free Press Policy Counsel Aparna Sridhar made the following statement:

“This is a huge win for advocates of government transparency, and we are so pleased that the Court unanimously and categorically rejected AT&T’s claim that corporations are entitled to the same privacy rights as individuals under FOIA. This decision means that corporations cannot hide behind claims of personal privacy in order to protect their business practices from public scrutiny.

“We join the Court in hoping AT&T doesn’t take this loss personally.”

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