Dear Ministry of Defence,
I would like to request the following under Freedom of Information legislation:
Can you please disclose a list of all of the types of operations taking place in the UK today? Eg Info Ops/Psy Ops etc.
Can you tell me whether there has been a history of, or whether there are any plans to rename or recategorize Information Operations?
For the purposes of clarity in my request, I would consider renaming or recategorizing as any shift of any of the operational goals or objectives from one operation to another, or any shifting of any of the surveillance targets from one operation to another-whether that be an individual or individuals, a group, a company, an organization, or anyone observed or surveilled as a result of their connections to any of the above.
Can you tell me whether any of the key terminology pertaining to Information Operations has been altered since the original production of 'JWP 3-80 Information Operations'?
I would class key terminology as any terminology pertaining to the day to day workings of the operation or any of the information stored relating to or about the operations.
In particular I would like to know whether any of the Target Lists have been altered/removed or renamed; and whether or not any additional Target lists have been added to Info Ops ( For the last sentence could you include details for any renamed or recategorized Info Op as described above? ). For the purposes of common understanding, a Target List would be defined by it's nature as a list of targets akin to those described in JWP 3-80, as opposed to being defined simply because it has these words in it's title.
Dear Mr Mackenzie,
PSA response to your Freedom of Information request.
We apologise for the delay in responding to you.
Deputy Business Manager, Defence Strategy and Priorities (DSP), 4-F-02,
Security Policy & Operations, Main Building, Ministry of Defence,
Whitehall, London SW1A 2HB. Email: [email address]
Dear Sec Pol Ops-DU BM2 (Skerritt, Simon C2),
Thank you for your response dated 19-2-2013. In it you set out that you believed that some of the information was exempt based on section 23(5) and 24(2) of the Freedom of Information act.
That information refused was regarding questions (A) a list of the types of operation taking place in the UK today, and (D)alterations to target lists.
Due to the limitations of this website I have had to upload most of this response with regard to Information Operations at the following link. By providing most of the data there it is much more easily readable:
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. Operations such as Info-Ops are a direct, continuous and extreme violation of national security. For the information to be withheld would likely serve to further violate national security. And I would urge caution when considering any demonstration from those involved in operations such as Info Ops Targeting that they are defending national security; since, as mentioned, 'Deception' is a key component of Information Operations.
The information pertains to MOD operations and target lists created in self-appointed extra-judicial domestic military operations; not any details relevant to parties who may or may not aid such activity and come under section 23 of FOI legislation.
With regard to the target lists, the public should know how many of these lists are in place at present because the activity is illegal. Given that Targeting activities of Information Operations are a breach of Common Law, European Convention, HRA and the Geneva Convention, I view the refusal of the information as an attempt to hide such activity.
JWP 3-80 is obviously in the public domain mentioning methods used to target people and the lists of targets formulated by MOD. The attempt to hide what is already known or attempts to evolve the documentation and take the illegal lists behind closed doors are loathsome and another example that the MOD is aware that it is transgressing basic civil rights and numerous laws.
Given the form that the relevant sections of the MOD and DSTL have shown in regard to Targeting also, I believe there is a compelling public interest in knowing the full extent of different types of operation they are acting out.
As outlined Targeting activities seem to exist in a total moral vacuum. If this is the sort of operations which are known to fractions of the public. It is frightening to consider what is not known. But it is necessary that it is revealed.
Section 23 was not intended to be misappropriated for exempting the persecution of members of the public by the military. Legitimate covert operations led by parties such as those listed in Section 23 are fitting for detection of illegal activity.
There is a most extreme public interest in all of 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.