FCC Limits Use of Confidentiality Requests

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a reminder that it does not and will not grant unnecessarily broad requests regarding the confidentiality of information submitted in response to FCC letters of inquiry (LOI).

According to a Public Notice issued in mid-June by the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau, the agency is receiving an increasing number of requests from LOI respondents and their legal counsels to treat their entire response as confidential. In many cases, these requests fail to provide what the Bureau calls a “substantive explanation” for the request.

In its Notice, the Enforcement Bureau says that such overboard requests for confidentiality are “unacceptable” under the Commission’s rules “and will be dismissed if not appropriately narrowed in a timely manner.”  Instead, the Bureau continues, “parties requesting confidential treatment of materials they submit to the Commission are required to identify the specific parts of the submission to which the confidentiality request applies.”

The Notice cites Sections 0.459(a)(1) and (b)(1) of the Commission’s rules as the basis for this policy.

Read the text of the FCC’s Public Notice regarding the limits of confidentiality requests.

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