Project Skynet Academic Study

Ross Anderson made this Freedom of Information request to Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

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 Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

Can you please let me have a copy of the document "Project Skynet Academic Study: Policing cyber-enabled crime in the payments sector" which you commissioned two years ago from the University of Bristol and which is described here

http://research-information.bristol.ac.u...

Yours faithfully,

Ross Anderson
Professor of Security Engineering
University of Cambridge

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr  Anderson

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2017070000811

I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 20/07/2017.  I note you seek
access to the following information:

* Can you please let me have a copy of the document "Project Skynet
Academic Study: Policing cyber-enabled crime in the payments sector"
which you commissioned two years ago from the University of Bristol
and which is described here
http://research-information.bristol.ac.u...

Your request will now be considered in accordance with the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (the Act).  You will receive a response within the
statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined by the Act.  

If you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please contact
us at [email address] or on the phone at 0207 161 3500, quoting the
reference number above. Should your enquiry relate to the logging or
allocations process we will be able to assist you directly and where your
enquiry relates to other matters (such as the status of the request) we
will be able to pass on a message and/or advise you of the relevant
contact details.

Yours sincerely

Peter Deja
Support Officer - Freedom of Information Triage Team
 
COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome to discuss the
response with the case officer who dealt with your request.  

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing, within forty (40) working days from
the date of the refusal notice, and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Information Rights Unit
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF
[email address]

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 20 working days.

The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.ico.org.uk.  Alternatively, write to or
phone:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone: 0303 123 1113

Total Policing is the Met's commitment to be on the streets and in your
communities to catch offenders, prevent crime and support victims. We are
here for London, working with you to make our capital safer.

 

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system.  To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law.  Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents.  The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

 

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Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

I wonder if I might possibly remind you that the twenty working days for considering my FOI request about Project Skynet have now passed?

Yours faithfully,

Ross Anderson

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Anderson,

Thank you for your e-mail. I am sorry that the MPS has not been able to provide you with a response within the 20 working day timeframe. I can confirm that the person dealing with your request is Audeeba Ali.

Audeeba: I would be grateful if you could please provide Mr Anderson with an update on his request.

Thank you.

Regards,

Kolsuma Sultana| FOI Triage Team | 
Strategy & Insight | Strategy & Governance | Met HQ | Metropolitan Police Service
Telephone: 0207 161 3500 (10am – 2pm) | Internal: 703510 | Email: [email address]
Address: Information Rights Unit, 3rd Floor, PO Box 57192, London, SW6 1SF

Protective Marking: RESTRICTED
Not Suitable for Publication:
Recipients of this email should be aware that all communications within and to and from the Metropolitan Police Service are subject to consideration for release under the Data Protection Act, Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations. The MPS will consider all information suitable for release unless there are valid and proportionate public interest reasons not to, therefore, sensitive information not for public disclosure must be highlighted as such. Further advice can be obtained from the Information Rights Unit - 020 7161 3500.

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

My Freedom of Information request on Project Skynet is now well overdue.

May I request an internal review, to find out why response to the request has been so slow?

Yours faithfully,

Ross Anderson

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Anderson,

Freedom of Information Review Reference No: 2017090000634

I write in connection with your request for a review of the handling
and/or decision relating to 2017070000881 which was received by the
Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 19/09/2017.  

A review will now be conducted in accordance with the Code of Practice
issued under Section 45 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act).
The reviewing officer will reconsider the original request before
responding to you with their findings.

There is no statutory time limit in relation to the completion of an
Internal Review.  However, the MPS aim to complete Internal Reviews within
20 working days or in exceptional cases, within 40 working days.  This is
based upon guidance published by the Information Commissioner.

If it is not possible to complete the Internal Review within this
timescale you will be informed at the earliest opportunity.

If you are unhappy with the outcome of an Internal Review you may wish to
refer the matter to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).

For information on how to make an application to the Information
Commissioner please visit their website at www.ico.org.uk.  Alternatively,
write to or phone:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone:  0303 123 1113

Yours sincerely,

K. Sultana
FOIA Triage Team

Total Policing is the Met's commitment to be on the streets and in your
communities to catch offenders, prevent crime and support victims. We are
here for London, working with you to make our capital safer.

 

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system.  To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law.  Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents.  The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

 

Find us at:

Facebook: Facebook.com/metpoliceuk

Twitter: @metpoliceuk

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Anderson

 

Freedom of Information Review Reference No: 2017090000634

 

Further to your email of the 19^th September 2017, I am now able to
provide a full response to your procedural complaint concerning case
number 201070000811.

 

Initial Request for Information - received 20/07/2017

“Can you please let me have a copy of the document "Project Skynet
Academic Study: Policing cyber-enabled crime in the payments sector" which
you commissioned two years ago from the University of Bristol and which is
described here
http://research-information.bristol.ac.u....

 

Procedural Complaint - received 19/09/2017

“My Freedom of Information request Project Skynet is now well overdue. 
May I request an internal review, to find out why response to the request
has been so slow?”

 

 

DECISION

 

In accordance with The Code of Practice (Freedom Of Information Act 2000,
section 45), I would like to advise you that this complaint process
provides a fair and thorough review of handling issues and of decisions
taken in pursuant to the Act, including decisions taken about where the
public interest lies in respect of exempt information.

 

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has completed its review and has
decided that there has been a breach of best practice under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 in relation to your request.

 

 

Time compliance

The statutory time limit for responding to a Freedom of Information Act
request is set out in Section 10(1) Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FoIA)

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000... which states that a
public authority must comply with section 1 (1) promptly and in any event
not later than the twentieth working day following the date of receipt. 
Therefore, a public authority must inform the applicant in writing whether
it holds the information requested and if so, communicate that information
to the applicant, promptly, but not later than 20 working days after
receipt of the request.

 

Your request for information was received on the 21/7/17 therefore a
response was required to be sent by the 16/8/17.  The MPS should have
advised you on the 16/8/17 (20th working day) that the MPS have not been
able to complete its response to your request and updated you on the
progress of your request.   

 

On the 19/9/17 you requested an internal review.

 

In this instance, a full response has not been provided to you within 20
working days and for these reasons, I have determined that procedural
errors have been made in relation to your request.

 

Therefore, the MPS have failed to comply with the requirements of Section
10 in relation to your request as you were not provided with the requested
information within 20 working days and we failed to keep you updated on
the progress of your request with an amended date for the response.

 

I have made enquiries with the Information Manager dealing with your FoIA
request, and have been advised that progress is being made with your
request.  I have asked the Information Manager to update you on the
progress of your case by the end of next week the latest if they are
unable to send you a response any sooner.

 

As a response to your request is currently outstanding, I am unable to
complete a full internal review in relation to your request.  However,
should you be dissatisfied with the MPS response to your request, you
would still be entitled to request an internal review in relation to the
decision.

 

I would like to take this opportunity to apologise on behalf of the MPS
for the delay you have experienced and for any inconvenience caused by our
failure to process your request correctly.  The issues you have raised
have been recorded and they will enable us to provide a more efficient and
effective service in the future.

 

I hope to reassure you that the MPS takes compliance with the Act very
seriously and is working hard to promote good practice in regard to the
processing of requests.

 

I sincerely hope that I have been able to address the issues raised in
your complaint and apologise on behalf of the MPS that our processing of
this matter was less than satisfactory.

 

Should you have any further inquiries concerning this matter, please
contact me on 0207 161 3500, quoting the reference number above as I will
be happy to help.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Ms Minhas

Senior Information Manager

Information Rights Unit

Metropolitan Police Service

 

 

 

 

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

 

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of this Internal Review you have
the right to appeal the decision by contacting the Information
Commissioner's Office (ICO) for a decision on whether the request for
information has been dealt with in accordance with the requirements of the
FOIA.

 

For information on how to make an application to the Information
Commissioner please visit their website at www.ico.org.uk.  Alternatively,
write to or phone:

 

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

Phone:  0303 123 1113

 

 

 

 

Total Policing is the Met's commitment to be on the streets and in your
communities to catch offenders, prevent crime and support victims. We are
here for London, working with you to make our capital safer.

 

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system.  To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law.  Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents.  The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

 

Find us at:

Facebook: Facebook.com/metpoliceuk

Twitter: @metpoliceuk

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Anderson

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2017070000811

I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 20/07/2017.  I note you seek
access to the following information:

* "Can you please let me have a copy of the document "Project Skynet
Academic Study: Policing cyber-enabled crime in the payments sector"
which you commissioned two years ago from the University of Bristol
and which is described here
http://research-information.bristol.ac.u...
"

Unfortunately I have been unable to complete your request within 20
working days. I apologise for this delay.
Please be assured that I am progressing this case.

I once again apologise for the delay and thank you for patience.
 

Yours sincerely

Audeeba Ali
Freedom of Information Manager
 
COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome to discuss the
response with the case officer who dealt with your request.  

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing, within forty (40) working days from
the date of the refusal notice, and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Information Rights Unit
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF
[email address]

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 20 working days.

The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.ico.org.uk.  Alternatively, write to or
phone:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone: 0303 123 1113

Total Policing is the Met's commitment to be on the streets and in your
communities to catch offenders, prevent crime and support victims. We are
here for London, working with you to make our capital safer.

 

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system.  To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law.  Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents.  The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

 

Find us at:

Facebook: Facebook.com/metpoliceuk

Twitter: @metpoliceuk

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Anderson

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2017070000811

I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 20/07/2017.  I note you seek
access to the following information:

Can you please let me have a copy of the document "Project Skynet Academic
Study: Policing cyber-enabled crime in the payments sector" which you
commissioned two years ago from the University of Bristol and which is
described here

http://research-information.bristol.ac.u...

DECISION

Having located and considered the relevant information, I am afraid that I
am not required by statute to release the information requested. This
response serves as a Refusal Notice under Section 17 of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (the Act).  

REASONS FOR DECISION

I have exempted the information by virtue of s.31 of the Freedom of
Information Act (FoIA) governing Law Enforcement. As this exemption is a
prejudice-based and qualified exemption, I am required to provide you with
evidence of harm in releasing this information and a Public Interest Test
in order to determine the potential harm that could be caused by
disclosing the information requested.

Prejudice Test:

This is an academic research paper that explored how to improve the
understanding of e-crime in the payments sector. The paper explores ways
to ensure regulation, legislation, training and action by law enforcement,
industry and consumers is aligned and focused on areas which will achieve
the best prevention, detection and enforcement outcomes. The study
provides recommendations for implementation.
It is to be noted that this is a document that involved a submissions from
a number of organisations – from the police, card schemes and retailers.
 To release this information could have a negative impact on our law
enforcement functions. It is important that senior managers are able to
communicate ideas and proposals in candid fashion. The release of papers
that are designed to invoke discussion/debate or contain proposals for
improving the way e-crime is investigated.

Furthermore, to release the depth of information contained within the
document outlines the way the investigation of crime can be coherent and
more resource efficient. By default this outlines the gaps in the system.
Those with negative intent will then use this information and identify the
ways to commit crime and avoid detection. To provide one example, there is
a section that discusses the equipment that is used to commit online
fraud. This information if disclosed will inevitable provide information
on which equipment is used and how to obtain this. The MPS would be placed
at an operational disadvantage as this will lead to more e-crimes and
directly impact upon MPS resources. MPS resources will be directly
affected as more time will be spent combating this crime.

Public Interest Test conducted under s.31 FoIA:

The underlying principles of the establishment of FoIA, are to create
transparency, allow public scrutiny and increasing public debate.
Furthermore, the FoIA requires public authorities to be held accountable
for their actions. This is prominent here because this document refers to
best working practices. Release of the information would make the MPS
openly accountable for the decisions that are made and where and how
public money is spent.

Furthermore, this document have elements relating to the efficiency and
effectiveness of the investigation of e-crime. To openly share this
information will illustrate that they are actively involved in initiatives
to reduce crime, thus ensuring public safety and confidence within the
community. Based upon this notion the public have the right to know how
that public authority conducts itself in their business. Furthermore,
there could be some benefit in disclosure, for example, enabling
individuals to take action to avoid being a victim of fraud.  This benefit
however, would then have to be balanced against the potential harm –
possibly our ability to prevent and detect fraud.

Whilst it is paramount to uphold the principles underpinned by the FoIA,
it is equally important to balance those considerations in maintaining the
exemption. Therefore, whilst I am of the opinion that the release of the
requested information would allow the MPS to remain transparent and
actively promote public discussion which is underpinned by FoIA, the
current or future law enforcement role of the MPS may be compromised by
the release of specific details of how the shape of the investigation of
e-crime may change.  

To disclose the information you have requested into the public domain
could potentially hinder any discussions and plans that may be
implemented. Furthermore, information regarding ways to reduce e-crime
would be a valuable commodity to individuals (and/or organisations)
wishing to commit crime, as it provides an insight into tactics and
resources available to the MPS.  Police resources and our law enforcement
role would likely to be negatively affected and manipulated by those with
criminal intent to obtain an unfair advantage over MPS operational
information. Upon this basis it will never be in the public interest to
compromise the MPS commitment to being efficient and effective in our role
as law enforcers.

After weighing up the competing interests I have determined that the
disclosure of the document would not be in the public interest.
Furthermore, it would greatly contribute to the MPS’ commitment to be an
open and transparent organisation.  However, in light of the arguments for
non-disclosure and harm I consider this to be a stronger argument than the
reasons to disclose. I base this decision on the fact that the public
interest is not what interests the public, but is what would be of greater
benefit if released, to the community as a whole. And as such, I consider
the release of this document would be detrimental our core functions as
law enforcers.

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please
contact me quoting the reference number above.
Yours sincerely

Audeeba Ali
Freedom of Information Manager

LEGAL ANNEX:

Section 17(1) of the Act provides:

(1)        A public authority which, in relation to any request for
information, is to any extent relying on a claim that any provision in
part II relating to the duty to confirm or deny is relevant to the request
or on a claim that information is exempt information must, within the time
for complying with section 1(1), give the applicant a notice which-

(a) states the fact,

(b) specifies the exemption in question, and

(c) states (if that would not otherwise be apparent) why the exemption
applies.

Section 31 (1)(a)(b) of the Act provides:

(1) Information which is not exempt information by virtue of section 30 is
exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be
likely to, prejudice;-

(a)        the prevention and detection of crime;

(b)        the apprehension or prosecution of offender;

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome to discuss the
response with the case officer who dealt with your request.  

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing, within forty (40) working days from
the date of the refusal notice, and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Information Rights Unit
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF
[email address]

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 20 working days.

The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.ico.org.uk.  Alternatively, write to or
phone:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone:  0303 123 1113

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system.  To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law.  Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents.  The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

 

Find us at:

Facebook: Facebook.com/metpoliceuk

Twitter: @metpoliceuk