Brexit impact on government messaging and web security services currently hosted in other EU countries

Indigo made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Exiting the European Union

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Dear Department for Exiting the European Union

At the moment, some (perhaps all) Government departments e-mail is handled by Symantec MessageLabs ("cloud" based service integrating messaging and web security services) on servers hosted in other EU countries (eg Germany and the Republic of Ireland). After Brexit, I understand, this arrangement is likely to be illegal under existing EU data privacy and protection laws.

So far I have seen nothing in the media anywhere or in Government announcements about this being one of the 58 impacts of Brexit, so I should be grateful to be sent any information you may be able to disclose on

(a) the UK Governments' planned "milestones" for seamlessly migrating government messaging, data transfer and web security services - including the new on-line criminal court - to data centre hosting within the UK after Brexit, so that e-mail arrangements of Government departments - and their access to their own archived data and e-mail communications - do not vanish at 11.00pm on Friday 29 March 2019 (because no longer compliant with EU data privacy laws about not sending data out of the EU); and

(b) how much this will cost the British taxpayer.

Thank you.

Yours faithfully

Rachel Mawhood

DEXEU Freedom of Information Team Mailbox, Department for Exiting the European Union

Dear Rachel Mawhood,

Thank you for your FOI request, reference DEX000896. We will now respond
in line with the Freedom of Information Act.

Kind regards,

DExEU FOI Team

Freedom of Information Team

Correspondence Unit

[1]DfEEU_CYAN_SML_AW.png [2]line.png 9 Downing Street | London | SW1A 2AG

E: [3][DEEU request email]  

You can follow DExEU on Twitter:
@DExEUgov

show quoted sections

DEXEU Freedom of Information Team Mailbox, Department for Exiting the European Union

1 Attachment

Dear Rachel Mawhood,
Thank you for your FOI request, reference DEX000896. Please find our
attached response. We apologise for the delay and for any inconvenience
this may have caused.
Kind regards, 
DExEU FOI Team

Freedom of Information Team

9 Downing Street | London | SW1A 2AG
[1]DfEEU_CYAN_SML_AW.png
E: [2][DEEU request email]  

You can follow DExEU on Twitter: @DExEUgov

show quoted sections

Jonathan Rush left an annotation ()

Dear Rachel Mawhood

I hope you will challenge DEXEU's response, as it strikes me as absurd to suggest that section 31 is engaged here. In my opinion, you are right to suggest that on Brexit, the current arrangements for screening emails -assuming they are as described in your request - will be illegal under EU data protection law (because the UK will then be outside the EU and the EEA, so on the face of it, transferring the emails to the UK after scanning will breach the 8th principle). However, I think that this could be overcome by, for example, the UK government entering into an agreement with Symantec based on model protective clauses approved by the European Commission - as suggested by the reply you received from the Land Registry. I would have expected DEXEU's answer to be similar - although I would also have expected it to point out that it hopes to secure transitional arrangements with the EU, which would also be expected to overcome the problem. I can't see how any of that information can possibly be regarded as having any adverse impact on the interests that section 31 is intended to protect. It might be worth referring to the Land Registry's response in your reply to DEXEU.

Kind regards

Jon Rush

Dear DEXEU Freedom of Information Team

You will by now have received your copy of my e-mail (transmitted 4 February 2018 20:20) to the House of Lords and House of Commons EU [Brexit] committees, in which I assert - and explain the reasons for my belief - that my FOI request to you is not caught by Section 31 of the Freedom of Information Act.

So I await your fulfilment of my original FOI request of 30 November 2017.

Yours faithfully,
Rachel Mawhood

DEXEU Freedom of Information Team Mailbox, Department for Exiting the European Union

Dear Rachel Mawhood,
This email confirms that we have received your internal review request on
FOI DEX000896. The Department will now conduct an internal review and will
contact you once this has been concluded.
Kind regards, 
DExEU FOI team

Freedom of Information Team

9 Downing Street | London | SW1A 2AG
[1]DfEEU_CYAN_SML_AW.png
E: [2][DEEU request email]  

You can follow DExEU on Twitter: @DExEUgov

show quoted sections

DEXEU Freedom of Information Team Mailbox, Department for Exiting the European Union

1 Attachment

Please see attached response to your request for an internal review. We
apologise for the delay.

Freedom of Information Team

9 Downing Street | London | SW1A 2AG
[1]DfEEU_CYAN_SML_AW.png
E: [2][DEEU request email]  

You can follow DExEU on Twitter: @DExEUgov

References

Visible links
2. mailto:[DEEU request email]

Dear DEXEU Freedom of Information Team Mailbox,

Thank you for your gracious and helpful response.

Yours sincerely,

Rachel Mawhood