NGO and contractor involvement in Info ops UK?

Donnie Mackenzie made this Freedom of Information request to Ministry of Defence

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 refused by Ministry of Defence.

Dear Ministry of Defence,

I would like to request data under the Freedom of Information Act.

According to an FOI response from Cranfield University ( ; contractor organisations and Non Governmental organisations are involved in being trained in Information Operations alongside those employed in the public sector.

Can you tell me whether contractor organisations and/or Non-Governmental Organisations are working alongside publicly funded organisations within Information Operations in the UK?

If this is so, could you specify whether the funding of such operations is solely by the public sector, solely by the private sector, or jointly funded?

Can you tell me whether the specified objectives and goals of such operations are solely decided by the public sector, solely decided by the private sector, or decided by both parties?

Can you specify the names of the companies, organisations or other groups of contractors/NGOs involved in Information Operations, and the nature of their participation?

Yours faithfully,

Donnie Mackenzie

Donnie Mackenzie left an annotation ()

DECISION NOTICE ISSUED BY ICO. Response directed within 35 calendar days.(29th Jan)

Sec Pol Ops-DU BM2 (Skerritt, Simon C2),

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Mackenzie


PSA response to your Freedom of Information request. We apologise for the
delay in responding to you.




Simon Skerritt

Deputy Business Manager, Defence Strategy and Priorities (DSP), 4-F-02,
Security Policy & Operations, Main Building, Ministry of Defence,
Whitehall, London SW1A 2HB. Email: [1][email address]






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Donnie Mackenzie

Dear Sec Pol Ops-DU BM2 (Skerritt, Simon C2),

Thank you for your response dated 18-2-2013. In it you set out that you believed the information was exempt based on section 23(5) and 24(2) of the Freedom of Information act.

Due to the limitations of this website I have had to upload most of this response to the following link. By providing most of the information there it is much more easily readable:

SEC 24(2)

In the approach set out by the House of Lords on national security in relation to Sec. Of State for Home Department V Rehman (Lord Slynn at para 16), it was outlined that:

“To require the matters in question to be capable of resulting 'directly' in a threat to national security limits too tightly the discretion of the executive in deciding how the interests of the state, including not merely military defence but democracy, the legal and constitutional systems of the state need to be protected”

As covered in the document above, domestic Info-Ops are not only an affront to democracy, but are illegitimate, illegal and are thus breaching national security based on the precedent set out.

The use of section 24 to claim exemption is dependent on the requirement that there would be harm to national security if the information was released. But, as stated, the truth is to the contrary. Information Operations are a direct, continuous and extreme violation of national security. For the information to be withheld would serve to further violate national security. And I would urge caution when considering any demonstration from those using Info Ops Targeting that they are defending national security; since, as mentioned, 'Deception' is a key component of Information Operations.

SEC 23(5)

The information pertains to involvement of NGOs in domestic military operations which are funded by members of the public, and targeted at persecuting them. It doesn't refer to any details relevant to parties who may or may not aid such activity and come under section 23 of FOI legislation.

Section 23 was not intended to be misappropriated for exempting the involvement of private organisations in intrusive and illegal operations. As mentioned MOD Info Ops have their own self agenda and target lists; so legitimate operations would need to be carried out by parties such as those listed in Section 23 and it would not be appropriate or relevant for them to be involved in Information Operations. It should be made clear to the public just which NGOs are involved in aiding or directing such abuses and whether there are any such vested interests funding the experimental activities involved in these operations.

The information I have requested is of limited specificity which would aid the public in understanding the parties involved in breaching Common Law, European Convention, HRA and the Geneva Convention in such Operations in the UK.

There is a most extreme public interest in the information I have requested being released and I am dissatisfied with the response given. As such I would like to request an internal review.

Yours sincerely,

Donnie Mackenzie


1 Attachment

Dear Mr Mackenzie,

Please see attached.

Yours sincerely,

FOI Internal Review Team