It is by now no surprise to learn that some facts about government, and associated agency decisions, especially controversial ones, do get revealed to citizens thanks to various, varying from country to country, Freedom of Information, known mostly as FOIA, acts.

But would it surprise you to learn that while allowing this no doubt to them annoying at least possibility to go on – governments are also in essence “nullifying” this freedom and free-speech-loving legislative “loophole” by trying to undermine it, whichever way they can?

The answer may easily be, “no, not surprising” – and, sad and disappointing as it may sound, if we said, it’s documented to be happening in the UK of all places – how many would actually be shocked.

Well, it’s happening in the UK. There, sure, on the outside, it’s fine if you as a media outlet file a FOIA request. But the dark underbelly is that each of these are – for a reason at this point known only to the UK Ministry of Justice (MoJ) – tracked.

The consequences, as reported by The Times, are not only that the journalists who engage in this supposedly perfectly legal, uncontroversial (and thus surely, unworthy of any government tracking activity) actually do get tracked – but that the said government entity “appears to be delaying the release of data until clearance is given by political appointees.”

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Shawna

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