Dear Ministry of Defence,
I would like to request the following under Freedom of Information legislation:
Can you tell me how many of the following people in the UK are on any of the target lists pertaining to Information Operations and/or similar operations:
Serving or former employees of the Intelligence services?
Serving or former employees of the Police?
Serving or former members of the military (RAF/Army/Navy)?
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 19-2-2013. In it you set out that you believed the information was exempt based on section 24(2) and 23(5) 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 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 involved in Info Ops Targeting 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 scales to which Common Law, European Convention, HRA and the Geneva Convention are being breached by such Operations in the UK.
The information pertains to MOD records of MOD activity in 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.
I am not sure whether the exemption invoked in this case pertains to the fact that the figures may include those working within such organisations. But I firmly believe that Section 23 was not intended to be misappropriated for exempting the targeting of such groups of people. As mentioned MOD Info Ops have their own self set 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 Targeted with Information 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.