Request for basic stats on Information Operations, Psychological Operations and Electromagnetic Operations in the UK
Dear Ministry of Defence,
I would like to request answers to the following questions under Freedom of Information Act 2000:
Can you tell me how many Information Operations (ics-www.leeds.ac.uk/papers/pmt/exhibits/2270/jwp3_80.pdf) the MOD is aware of in the UK for the years 2010, 2011 and at date of writing?
Can you tell how many susbsidiary operations there are as part of or assistance to these information operations?
Can you tell me how many Psychological Operations are going on in the UK that the MOD is aware of at present?
Can you tell whether there are any Electromagnetic Spectrum Operations going on in the UK at present; and if so how many?
Dear Ministry of Defence,
By law, you should have replied to my request by 4th September. Please could you explain why this deadline has not been met; and fulfill the request as soon as possible? Thank you.
Dear Mr Mackenzie,
PSA response to your Freedom of Information request.
We apologise for the delay in responding.
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 18-2-13. 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:
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 and Psy-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 and such related activities as Psy-Ops and Electromagnetic-Ops 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 involved in such operations that they are defending national security; since, as mentioned, 'Deception' is a key component of Information Operations.
The information I have requested is of limited specificity which would aid the public in understanding the scale to which Common Law, European Convention, HRA and the Geneva Convention are being breached by Information Operations in the UK.
The information pertains to basic MOD statistics of autonomous self appointed MOD 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. The public should know the scale of such activities since it is they who have funded them and they have had no say in their activities.
Section 23 was not intended to be misappropriated for exempting the extra-judicial activities of members of the military at home. As mentioned MOD Info Ops have their own self set agenda and target lists. Legitimate operations led by parties such as those listed in Section 23 would likely be covert and the use of Info Ops, Psy-Ops or the Electromagnetic Ops by MOD to abuse and harass people is not relevant.
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.