Letter: Free information

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The Independent Online
Sir: Article 19 agrees with Stephen Dorril (letter, 17 December) that the wholesale exemption of government bodies is a key weakness in the Government's proposals for a Freedom of Information Act.

Mr Dorril asks what "national security" actually means. In the White Paper, it is a conveniently amorphous area.

The Government must clearly and narrowly define in the new law what they deem to be national security - for example, protecting territorial integrity against the use or threat of force - and therefore which specific categories of information will be outside the scope of the Act.

Malcolm Smart

Deputy Director

Article 19 International Centre Against Censorship

London N1