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ICO Decision on Terrorism Blocking Appeal, Feb. 2012

ICO Decision on Terrorism Blocking Appeal, Feb. 2012

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Published by TJ McIntyre
This is the decision of the Information Commissioner on a FOI appeal against the Home Office refusal to reveal information relating to the operation of a system to block internet access to alleged "terrorism related" sites. The original FOI can be found here:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/filtering_of_terrorist_material
This is the decision of the Information Commissioner on a FOI appeal against the Home Office refusal to reveal information relating to the operation of a system to block internet access to alleged "terrorism related" sites. The original FOI can be found here:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/filtering_of_terrorist_material

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Published by: TJ McIntyre on Feb 28, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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02/28/2012

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Upholdinginformationrights
InformationCommissioner'sOffice
.5AF
MrT
J
MclSchoolofLaw
Un
ColDublin
4
Irela
DuinFebrua
12
ur:FS
71
rMrMcIntyre,
FreedomofHome
Act
PleasefindattachedaDecisionNoticeissuedundersection50(1)oftheFreedomofInformationAct
2000,
If
youdisagreewithanyaspecttheattachedDecisionNotice,youhavetherighttoappealtotheFirst-tierTribunal.ContactdetailsfortheburialareincludedintheDecisionNotice.TheDecisionNoticeincludesdetailsaboutyouandthepublicauthority.ThisistoensurethatthereisnodoubtastotherequestforinformationtowhichtheNoticerelates.TheCommissionerwillpublishthedecisiononthelCOwebsite,butwillremoveallnamesandaddressescomplainants.AlthoughpublicauthoritiesmaychoosetoreproducethisDecisionNotice,theCommissionerwouldexpectattheywouldkesimilarsteps.TheCommissionerconsidersthatthesemaybenecessaryinordertocomplywiththerequirementsoftheDataProtectionAct.Youshouldwritetous
if
thepublicauthorityfailscomplywiththestepspecifiedbytheCommissionerintheDecisionNotice.
It
isimportanttonotethattheCommissioner'spowertocommencelegalproceedingsinthissituationisdiscretionaryandalthoughwewillinvestigatethematter,formalactionwillnotbeappropriateinallcases.BenTomeslorCaseOfficer
FSC
 
renee:
omInformation
2000(FOIA)
Decisionnotice
2012
Publreas:SeacoleSui2MarshamLondon
1P
ComplainaAddress:Mr
T1
McIntyreSchoolofUniversityCollegeDublinDublin
4-
IrelaDecision(includinganystepsordered)
1.ThecomplainantmadeanumberofrequestsforinformationrengtotheblockingofURLsthatcontainterrorist-relatedmaterial.TheHomeOfficerefusedconfirmordenywhetheritheldsomeoftileinformationrequested,citingtheexemptionsprovidedbysections23(5)(informationrelatingtosecuritybodies),24(2)(nationalsecurity)and41(2)(actionablebreachofconfidence)oftheFOIA.Inrelationtootherinformation;itconfirmedthatthiswasheld,butcitedtheexemptionfromthedutytodiscloseprovidedbysection24(1)(nationalsecurity).2.eCommissioner'sdecisionisthattheHomeOfficehasappliedtheexemptionsprovidedbysections23(5),24(2)and24(1)correctlyandsoitisnotrequiredtoprovideanyfurtherconfirmationordenialsor,inrelationtoinformationithaspreviouslyconfirmedisheld,disclosethatinformationinrelationtotherequestsinresponsetowhichthoseexemptionswerecited.HowevertheCommissionerhasalsofoundthattheexemptionprovidedbysection41(2)wasnotengaged.3.TheCommissionerrequiresepublicauthoritytotakethefollowingstepstoensurecompliancewiththelegislation:
1
 
1
ill
Providethecomplainantconfirmationordenialaswhetherinformationfallingwithinthescopeofrequest
(iii)
isheld.Foranyinformationthatisheld,eitherdisclosethis,orprovideavalidreasonforwhythisinformationwillnotbedisclosed.4.TheCommissionerfound,however,thatthecomplywiththeinthatitdidnottodaysofrecei
Requestandresponse
5,On13November
2010
1
thecomplainantwrotetheHomeOfficeandmadethefollowinginformationrequests:
(i)
"WhoisresponsiblefordeterminingwhatURLscontain'potentiallyunlawfulterrorist-relatedmaterial?"
(ii)
"Whattrainingisofferedtothoseresponsibleformakingthisdetermination?Pleasefurnishacopy
of
thetrainingmaterialused,
H
(iii)
"WhatliabilitywouldbefacedbytheHomeOfficeorfilteringfirmsinrelationtoharmcausedbywrongfulinclusion
of
asiteonthislist?Pleasefurnishcopies
of
anydocumentationrelatingtosame.
rr
(IV)
"HowmanyURLsareonthislist?"
(v)
"Pleasefurnishnowacopy
of
thislist."
(vi)
"Towhatcompaniesisthislistprovided?"
6,TheHomeOfficerespondedsubstantivelyon10January2011.Inrelationtosomeoftheinformationrequestedthatitconfirmedwasheld,itcitedtheexemptionsprovidedbysections31(1)(a)(prejudicetothepreventionordetectionofcrime)and24(1)(nationalsecurity),
It
alsostatedthat
it
neitherconfirmednordenied
if
itheldanyfurtherinformationfallingwithinthescopeoftherequests,andcitedtheexemptionsfromthedutytoconfirmordenyprovidedbysections23(5)(informationrelatingtosecuritybodies)and24(2)(nationalsecurity).2

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