Feeds

ICO clamps down on pseudonymous information requests

Mickey Mouse rules

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Government organisations are being encouraged to refuse public requests for information if they believe real names have not been supplied, under new guidelines from the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).

The ICO reminded public authorities yesterday that people using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) sometimes use fake names to avoid their requests being seen as "vexatious or repeated". Such requests are automatically invalid and can be refused with no possibility of regulatory redress, it said.

However, in some cases, it added, authorities should use their discretion on fake names. "The guidance urges public authorities to apply common sense." it said. "Where an obvious pseudonym is used, it is good practice for the public authority to consider the request as it may be happy to release the information, even though technically the request is invalid."

While tightening the name requirements for a valid freedom of information request, the new guidelines confirm more liberal criteria for requesters' correspondence addresses. An email address is equal to a physical address under FOIA, the ICO said. Its new guidance is here (pdf).

On Monday The Times reported that the backlog of FOIA requests in government continues to grow. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
NSA mass spying reform KILLED by US Senators
Democrats needed just TWO more votes to keep alive bill reining in some surveillance
Google bags OBSCENELY LARGE Times Square ad space for New Year's
Choc Factory pays millions for whacking new digital screen
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
'Cleantech' a dirty word for VCs? RUBBISH!
They just think the current schemes are terrible
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The hidden costs of self-signed SSL certificates
Exploring the true TCO for self-signed SSL certificates, including a side-by-side comparison of a self-signed architecture versus working with a third-party SSL vendor.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.