June 2015 Archives

Health & Social Care Information Centre have actually responded to a Data Protection Act 1998 s10 Data Subject Notice regarding the Care Data opt out scanda
reported in the mainstream media, within the stautory 21 days.

Health & Social Care Information Centre
1 Trevelyan Square
Boar Lane
Tel: 0300 303 5678
Fax: 0113 254 7239


18 June 2015

Dear [name]

Our ref: [...]

Thank you for your email received by us on 11th June 2015.

There are two types of information sharing you can object to:

• You can object to information containing data that identifies you from leaving your GP practice. This type of objection will prevent the identifiable information held in your GP record from being sent to the Health and Social Care Information Centre's secure environment. It will also prevent researchers who have gained legal approval from receiving your health information.

• Information from other places where you receive care, such as hospitals and community services is collected nationally by the Health and Social Care Information Centre. The Health and Social Care Information Centre only releases this information in identifiable form where there is legal approval for doing so such as for medical research.

This legal approval is only granted where it is:

• in the interests of patients or the wider public to do so; and
• impractical to obtain each individual patient's consent; and
• not possible to use anonymised data.

If you object, this type of information will not leave the Health and Social Care Information Centre to researchers with approval. The only exceptions are very rare circumstances such as a civil
emergency or a public health emergency.

I have checked our records and we have not received any notification from you of a request to prevent the use your information beyond use for direct care. You can find more information about this
here: http://www.hscic.gov.uk/yourinfo

I assume, therefore, that you have registered an objection at your GP Practice in response to the
care.data programme.

The HSCIC and the care.data programme has entered into a pathfinder stage with four Clinical Commissioning Group areas to test the best ways of supporting GPs to ensure patients are informed of the purposes of this data sharing programme, its safeguards and how they can opt out. See http://www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/tsd/care-data/ for more information on this.

GP systems are not held or maintained by the HSCIC. We can confirm that no data (raw or otherwise) has been collected by, sent to or is directly available to the HSCIC in relation to the care.data and patient objections GP data collections. We can also confirm that no data can be directly accessed from individual GP practice systems by the HSCIC and that no data has been passed to 'regional centres' as part of the care.data programme.

Further information may be available directly from your GP practice.

You may be interested in the recent response from our Caldicott Guardian to the Daily Telegraph which can be found here: http://www.hscic.gov.uk/6348

Yours sincerely,

[name of civil servant]
Higher Information Governance Officer

Further information about your right to complain under the Data Protection Act is available from the Information
Commissioner's Office, Wilmslow, Cheshire, and on The Information Commissioner's website www.ico.org.uk.

Data Protection Act section 10 Data Subject Notice

Date: Sat, 06 Jun 2015 [...]

To: enquiries@hscic.gov.uk
Subject: Data Protection Act 1998 s10 Data Subject Notice re Care Data opt out scandal - you have 21 days to reply

Data Controller

Health and Social Care Information Centre,
1 Trevelyan Square,
Boar Lane,

via email: enquiries@hscic.gov.uk

Saturday 6th June 2015

Dear Sir or Madam,

This is a Data Subject Notice under the Data Protection Act 1998
section 10, regarding the Care Data opt out scandal reported in the
media e.g.

Daily Telegraph:

The Guardian
NHS details released against patients' wishes, admits data body

Your processing and sharing or sale of my Care Data medical
records, despite my explicit opt out, is causing me considerable

Data Protection Act 1998 section 10 Right to prevent processing
likely to cause damage or distress.

"(3)The data controller must within twenty-one days of receiving a
notice under subsection (1) ('the data subject notice') give the
individual who gave it a written notice-

(a) stating that he has complied or intends to comply with the
data subject notice, or

(b) stating his reasons for regarding the data subject notice as
to any extent unjustified and the extent (if any) to which he has
complied or intends to comply with it."

I am registered with the [...] Medical Centre


I expect your written reply no later than Monday 29th June 2015 (21
days plus the weekend)

yours faithfully


With the Magna Carta commemorations this year, which seem to resonate especially in the USA, it is shocking to discover that the UK Government still uses General Warrants or Writs of Assistance, which helped to start the American War of Independence e.g. Boston tea party etc.

How can a Writ of Assistance as used by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, ever have been proportionate
under the European Convention on Human Rights and the UK Human rights Act , when instead of expiring or having to be reviewd after a fixed time period,
e.g. a month or 6 months or a year, these are supposedly valid for the "reign of the monarch" plus another 6 months thereafter.

An indeterminate length of for an extremely privacy intrusive power is almost certain to be deemed illegal by the European Court of Human Rights or the UK Supreme Court.

There is no good investigative reason why such Writs of Assistance cannot be in line with other search or even intercept warrants
and have to be reviewed and renewed after fixed lengths of time e.g. 6 months.

Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 section 161 Power to search premises: writ of assistance.

[F1161 Power to search premises: writ of assistance.

(1) The powers conferred by this section are exercisable by an officer having a writ of assistance if there are reasonable grounds to suspect that anything liable to forfeiture under the customs and excise Acts--

(a) is kept or concealed in any building or place, and

(b) is likely to be removed, destroyed or lost before a search warrant can be obtained and executed.

(2) The powers are--

(a) to enter the building or place at any time, whether by day or night, on any day, and search for, seize, and detain or remove any such thing, and

(b) so far as is necessary for the purpose of such entry, search, seizure, detention or removal, to break open any door, window or container and force and remove any other impediment or obstruction.

(3) An officer shall not exercise the power of entry conferred by this section by night unless accompanied by a constable.

(4) A writ of assistance shall continue in force during the reign in which it is issued and for six months thereafter.]

FOIA request:

HMRC Freedom of Information Team
Room 1C/23 100
Parliament Street
London SW1A 2BQ

E-mail: foi.request@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk

Saturday 6th June 2015

Dear Sirs

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, please disclose the
following information:


1) How many "Writs of Assistance" has Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (or Customs and Excise) obtained under the

Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 section 161


or other equivalent legal powers in force prior to the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979, in the reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Ideally this figure should be broken down by annual totals since 1979

N.B. This is NOT a request for any sensitive details of any any ongoing investigations.

Please provide the requested information, ideally by publishing it
on your public world wide website, or alternatively by email.

Ideally this should *not* be in the form of a "copy and paste"
locked Adobe .pdf file, or similar, attachment.

In the unlikely event that this information is not already
available in a standard electronic format, then please explain the
reasons why, when you provide the information in another format.

If you are proposing to make a charge for providing the information
requested, please provide full details in advance, together with an
explanation of any proposed charge.

If you decide to withhold any of the information requested, you
should clearly explain why you have done so in your response, by
reference to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 legislation.

If your decision to withhold is based upon an evaluation of the
Public Interest, then you should clearly explain which public
interests you have considered and why you have decided that the
public interest in maintaining the exception(s) outweighs the
public interest in releasing the information.

I look forward to receiving the information requested as soon as
possible and in any event, within the statutory 20 working days
from receipt of this email i.e. no later than Monday 6th July 2015.

Yours faithfully,

[tailored email address for this FOIA request]

About this blog

This United Kingdom based blog has been spawned from Spy Blog, and is meant to provide a place to track our Freedom of Information Act 2000 requests to United Kingdom Government and other Public Authorities.

If you have suggestions for other FOIA requests,  bearing in mind the large list of exemptions, then email them to us, or use the comments facility on this blog, and we will see  what we can do, without you yourself having to come under the direct scrutiny of  "Sir Humphrey Appleby" or his minions.

Email Contact

Please feel free to email us your views about this website or news about the issues it tries to comment on:

email: blog @spy[dot]org[dot]uk

Here is our PGP public encryption key or download it via a PGP Keyserver.


WhatDoTheyKnow.com - FOIA request submission and publication website from MySociety.org

Campaign Button Links

Watching Them, Watching Us - UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign
UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign

NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card
NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card and National Identity Register centralised database.

Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.
Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.

FreeFarid.com - Kafkaesque extradition of Farid Hilali under the European Arrest Warrant to Spain

Peaceful resistance to the curtailment of our rights to Free Assembly and Free Speech in the SOCPA Designated Area around Parliament Square and beyond
Parliament Protest blog - resistance to the Designated Area restricting peaceful demonstrations or lobbying in the vicinity of Parliament.

Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans
Data Retention is No Solution - Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans.

Save Parliament: Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)
Save Parliament - Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)

Open Rights Group

The Big Opt Out Campaign - opt out of having your NHS Care Record medical records and personal details stored insecurely on a massive national centralised database.

Tor - the onion routing network
Tor - the onion routing network - "Tor aims to defend against traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance that threatens personal anonymity and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security. Communications are bounced around a distributed network of servers called onion routers, protecting you from websites that build profiles of your interests, local eavesdroppers that read your data or learn what sites you visit, and even the onion routers themselves."

Tor - the onion routing network
Anonymous Blogging with Wordpress and Tor - useful Guide published by Global Voices Advocacy with step by step software configuration screenshots (updated March 10th 2009).

Amnesty International's irrepressible.info campaign

BlogSafer - wiki with multilingual guides to anonymous blogging

NGO in a box - Security Edition privacy and security software tools

Home Office Watch blog, "a single repository of all the shambolic errors and mistakes made by the British Home Office compiled from Parliamentary Questions, news reports, and tip-offs by the Liberal Democrat Home Affairs team." - does this apply to the Conservative - Liberal Democrat coalition government as well ?

Reporters Without Borders - Reporters Sans Frontières - campaign for journalists 'and bloggers' freedom in repressive countries and war zones.

Committee to Protect Bloggers - "devoted to the protection of bloggers worldwide with a focus on highlighting the plight of bloggers threatened and imprisoned by their government."

Icelanders are NOT terrorists ! - despite Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling's use of anti-terrorism legislation to seize the assets of Icelandic banks.

No CCTV - The Campaign Against CCTV


I'm a Photographer Not a Terrorist !


Power 2010 cross party, political reform campaign


Cracking the Black Box - "aims to expose technology that is being used in inappropriate ways. We hope to bring together the insights of experts and whistleblowers to shine a light into the dark recesses of systems that are responsible for causing many of the privacy problems faced by millions of people."


Open Rights Group - Petition against the renewal of the Interception Modernisation Programme

Yes, Minister

Yes, Minister Series 1, Episode 1, "Open Government" First airtime BBC: 25 February 1980

"Bernard Woolley: "Well, yes, Sir...I mean, it [open government] is the Minister's policy after all."
Sir Arnold: "My dear boy, it is a contradiction in terms: you can be open or you can have government."

FOIA Links

Campaign for the Freedom of Information

Office of the Information Commissioner,
who is meant to regulate the Freedom of Information Act 2000 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Scottish Information Commissioner,
who similarly regulates the Freedom of Information Act (Scotland) 2002

Information Tribunal - deals with appeals against decisions by the Information Commissioners.

Freedom of Information pages - Department for Constitutional Affairs

Friends of the Earth FOIA Request Generator and links to contact details for Central Government Departments and their Publication Schemes

UK Government Information Asset Register - in theory, this should point you to the correct Government documents, but in practice...well see for yourself.

Access all Information is also logging some FOIA requests

foi.mysociety.org - prototype FOIA request submission, tracking and publication website

Blog Links

Spy Blog

UK Freedom of Information Act Blog - started by Steve Wood, now handed over to Katherine Gundersen

Your Right To Know - Heather Brooke

Informaticopia - Rod Ward

Open Secrets - a blog about freedom of information by BBC journalist Martin Rosenbaum

Panopticon blog - by Timothy Pitt-Payne and Anya Proops. Timothy Pitt-Payne is probably the leading legal expert on the UK's Freedom of Information Act law, often appearing on behlaf of the Information Commissioner's Office at the Information Tribunal.

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