A federal appeals court sided with a pair of military contractors Tuesday when it ordered the Defense Department not to release documents that might have revealed information about the companies’ business operations.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit found that department had failed to adequately explain why it believed releasing the documents, which had been subject to Freedom of Information Act requests from journalists at a newspaper and a television station in Connecticut, would not cause harm to either of the contractors.

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