Don't redact FOI answers with a marker pen


FOI response poorly redacted

(Disclaimer - I currently work for GDS, although I don't work on FOI. This is an opinion piece and doesn't represent the views on any of my employers - past, present, or future.) The Irish government recently complied with a Freedom of Information Act request from journalists at RTÉ. The journalists wanted copies of messages […] Read More

Watching The Detectives


The British State's desire for its citizens' private data is becoming unquenchable. As part of a minor act of disobedience, I decided to send two Freedom of Information requests. The first to the Home Secretary asking for her email metadata. The second to the Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey asking for her web browsing […] Read More

Crafting A Perfect FOI Request


One of the sessions I lead at Open Data Camp was "Open Data Horror Stories" - we talked about some of the disasters we've had when requesting or using Open Data. This lead on to a session ran by Gaia Marcus on how to create the "perfect" FOI request. This is not an exhaustive guide […] Read More

VoteUK - Some Progress!


As you may recall from previous instalments of my thrilling blog, I'm trying to find the location of every polling station in the UK. This is proving to be rather tricky - if not impossible.  The  data aren't centrally held and, in any case, polling stations aren't announced until an election is called. So I […] Read More

FoI BTP


A British police car

Following on from my encounter with the police, I decided to file a complaint against Office 4825 for refusing to show me his ID via the BTP's public complaint form. Dear Sir or Madam, Office 4825 of the British Transport Police refused to show my his ID or Warrant Card when asked. I had been […] Read More